After scratching former first-overall pick Nail Yakupov for three straight games, St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock will now sit down another highly regarded forward according to Lou Korac of NHL.com. Yakupov will dress tonight in place of Robby Fabbri, the Blues’ first-round pick from 2014. Hitchcock explained his decision (via Korac):
You have to make a decision whether you want to be in the group of 14, or you want to stay in that top 9 or 10.
It’s all connected to tenacity…goals and assists I don’t look at.
This will be the first time in his (albeit short) career that Fabbri will be a healthy scratch, after having a successful rookie campaign last season. The 20-year old scored 18 goals and 37 points playing most of the year as a teenager and looked like a future star in the league. Though this obviously doesn’t mean much for Fabbri’s future, sitting him in the press box is a strong message that they need more from him; he’s currently sitting on just four points in 14 games.
- The team announced that Carter Hutton will be in net tonight when they take on the Nashville Predators, his old team. Hutton spent the past three seasons with the club, recording a 33-23-12 record and strong .910 save percentage. After the Blues dealt Brian Elliott to the Flames this summer, they were in need of a backup to Jake Allen and Hutton fit the bill perfectly. The 30-year old took a little longer to develop, but is now showing his worth; he’s carrying a .926 through four games.
- The Blues have recalled Chris Butler for tonight’s game due to some lingering injuries on the back end. As Korac reports, it’s just precautionary should anyone not be able to go after the warmups. Hitchcock singled out Carl Gunnarsson as the most noticable injury. Butler has played eleven games for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL this season, recording two points and eight penalty minutes.