The St. Louis Blues announced that they have activated forward Pavel Buchnevich off of IR today. As a result, the team has also sent forward Josh Leivo to the Springfield Thunderbirds of the AHL. Buchnevich had missed the previous five games after suffering a lower-body injury on opening night. The team is set to take on the Montreal Canadiens at home this evening.
Though Buchnevich’s injury wasn’t too serious, a return today is a bit surprising. Word had been out that Buchnevich could be nearing a return, but as Blues head coach Craig Berube told reporters earlier, including Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the return could be as soon as Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. Evidently, that return will come tonight against Montreal. That return can’t come soon enough for St. Louis too, who is 3-3-0 on the young season, but has lost their last three games.
Always a solid point-producer, Buchnevich broke out during the shortened 2021-22 season, recording 48 points in 54 games with the New York Rangers. That offseason, New York sent Buchnevich to the Blues for forward Sammy Blais and a second-round draft pick. The 27-year-old did not disappoint in his first season with St. Louis either, scoring 30 goals along with 46 assists over 73 games.
Leivo, 29, is in his first season with the Blues organization after signing a one-year deal with St. Louis this summer. The veteran forward played in just seven NHL games last season with the Carolina Hurricanes, but did have a terrific year with the Chicago Wolves, their AHL affiliate, contributing 46 points in 54 games. Leivo has yet to play an AHL game in 2022-23, but has played three games with the Blues to start.
oh thank god