The St. Louis Blues have decided to go a different route to address their injury woes, signing a pair of veteran forwards to professional tryout contracts in the hopes they’ll show they can still play in the NHL. Troy Brouwer and Jamie McGinn have both been brought in and will practice with the team this week, though neither has been issued an NHL contract yet.
Brouwer skated with the Florida Panthers in training camp this season after playing 75 games with the team last season, but wasn’t able to secure a deal. The 34-year old actually had a nice campaign with them, scoring 12 goals and recording 21 points in limited minutes. Still, it was hard for a Panthers team loaded with talent to justify a contract for the aging forward, especially when they had young stars pushing for playing time in the NHL.
St. Louis fans will be very familiar with what Brouwer can do, after he spent the 2015-16 season with the Blues and was a key part of their Western Conference Finals appearance. Brouwer was actually second on the team in postseason goal scoring behind only Vladimir Tarsenko. Perhaps St. Louis will be able to squeeze some of that magic out of him again.
McGinn meanwhile comes to the Blues after a spending a short amount of time with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL just to prove he was healthy enough to compete. His goal was always getting back to the NHL, and he’ll try to do just that in St. Louis. The 31-year old has played just 35 professional games since the start of the 2018-19 season, but was once a reliable bottom-six forward that provided physicality and a nice touch around the net.
The Blues are without Tarasenko and Alex Steen for a while, but remain in first place in the Western Conference. Any player trying out for them will have to buy-in to Craig Berube’s system that continues to wear down opponents with relentless physicality and puck pressure.