In an announcement that might explain their acquisition of Brayden Schenn even more, the St. Louis Blues have revealed that Patrik Berglund underwent left shoulder surgery yesterday and will be out until December. The injury happened during his offseason training in Sweden.
Berglund is just heading into a new five-year contract extension that will pay him $3.85MM per season, and was set to start the season as one of the centers for the Blues. Instead, he’ll miss almost the first half of the season and the Blues will scramble to fill the position. Luckily, they acquired Schenn from the Philadelphia Flyers on the weekend and have several players who can move to the middle. Alex Steen, Vladimir Sobotka, Kyle Brodziak, Zachary Sanford, Ivan Barbashev and Oskar Sundqvist all have various levels of experience in the middle, giving the Blues several options behind Schenn and Paul Stastny.
Even so, losing Berglund for that amount of time is a painful hit to a team looking to contend this year. His 23 goals were a career high and actually ranked second on the team, and he’s a responsible checker capable of providing minutes in all situations. The Blues don’t have a ton of room to spend on free agency for another fix, as the majority of their cap room is going to be eaten up by a Colton Parayko extension. They have more than enough depth to fill his role, though a lesser addition to the wing may still be in the cards for the summer.