The St. Louis Blues announced today that they have placed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo on the injured reserve. Bortuzzo suffered an undisclosed lower-body injury against the Detroit Red Wings on October 27th, and has not played since. Bortuzzo had not registered a point and was averaging just 11 minutes per game through four games before he was injured.
A defensive defenseman who has been used sparingly in his NHL career, Bortuzzo’s position on the Blues was further diminished by the breakout of Colton Parayko last season. Behind Parayko, Alex Pietrangelo, and Kevin Shattenkirk – the most talented collection of righty defenseman in the entire league – Bortuzzo has been forced into a limited role, if he plays at all. Bortuzzo was already expected to split time with Carl Gunnarsson and Joel Edmundson this season, and St. Louis cannot be too worried about his absence.
However, while Bortuzzo is out, the Blue have occupied his roster spot with defenseman Brad Hunt. The 28-year-old veteran is in his first season with the Blues organization, having played all 21 of his previous NHL contests with the Edmonton Oilers over the past three seasons. Signed this off-season for this very reason, to provide veteran depth and a more offensive option if needed, Hunt is ready to work his way into the St. Louis lineup. Thus far in 2016-17, he is leading the AHL’s Chicago Wolves with ten points.