The St. Louis Blues will be without Ivan Barbashev for at least six weeks after he suffered a left ankle injury in last night’s game. The team says he will be re-evaluated at that time, meaning it could be even longer. In a corresponding move, the Blues have recalled Nathan Walker from the AHL and moved Barbashev to injured reserve.
The 25-year-old forward had six points in 17 games on the season and was being used more and more by head coach Craig Berube of late. Versatile and talented, he’ll be a tough player to replace even for the West-leading Blues. Six weeks means he’ll miss close to 20 games, more than a third of the shortened season.
Not only does that remove a piece of the Blues lineup as they try to secure their position, but for Barbashev, it means this injury could cost him real dollars too. The young forward is scheduled to become a restricted free agent at the end of the year and still hasn’t experienced much of an offensive breakout. With just 83 points in 249 games so far in his career, his arbitration case won’t be very strong. That’s a silver lining for the Blues, but they would obviously want him in the lineup instead of rehabbing an injured ankle.