Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic is reporting that the St. Louis Blues have released a notice that they will be having a press conference tomorrow morning to announce a new captain. The Blues have been without a captain since trading Ryan O’Reilly to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the trade deadline. Rutherford speculates that the frontrunners to be the new captain would likely be Brayden Schenn or Robbie Thomas given their status with the club and the leadership they provide.
While Rutherford does consider Schenn and Thomas to be favorites to land the captaincy, he also concedes that he doesn’t know definitively as to who it will be. The Blues could name anyone from their current roster to be their next captain and certainly have lots of options as they could also select from veterans Colton Parayko, Justin Faulk, or even a younger veteran such as Pavel Buchnevich. Whoever the club ultimately selects will have the opportunity to lead a Blues team that will be looking to improve after a disappointing season last year in which they missed the playoffs. While they were sellers at the deadline, they did make a few low cost adds at the same time in Kasperi Kapanen and Jakub Vrana. The club also made additions this offseason trading for Kevin Hayes and bringing back Oskar Sundqvist in free agency.
In other Blues Notes:
- The Blues announced today that former Anaheim Ducks defenseman Andy Welinski will attend training camp with St. Louis on a PTO after spending last season in the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack and Rockford IceHogs. The 30-year-old put up four goals and 15 assists in 54 AHL games while tallying just 14 penalty minutes. In his short NHL career, the native of Duluth, Minnesota has posted just a single goal and five assists. St. Louis already has seven defensemen signed to NHL deals for next season meaning Welinski will be fighting an uphill battle to make the NHL squad.
- The Blues also announced today that forward Sam Bitten will also be joining the team for training camp on a PTO after playing for Plzen HC of the Czech league last season. The 23-year-old native of Ottawa, Ontario dressed in 48 games last year posting a single goal. Sam’s older brother Will Bitten is a member of the Blues and dressed in four games last year for the Blues posting a single assist. Bitten is unlikely to make the Blues but could battle for a spot in the minor leagues within the Blues system giving him a chance to play in North America for the first time in his professional career.