With yesterday’s news that star St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko is nearing a return from injured reserve, the Blues have made a move to clear space on their roster for Tarasenko’s return. Per a team announcement, veteran depth defenseman Steven Santini has been sent down to the team’s AHL affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds.
Santini, 27, was originally recalled from Springfield on January 4th. He played in four games for the Blues from January 7th to January 12th but has been a healthy scratch since. In those four games, Santini averaged just over 12 and a half minutes of ice time per night, and he registered six hits and ten blocked shots.
In Springfield, Santini served as an alternate captain and an important top-four, penalty-killing defenseman on a team that made the Calder Cup final. This season, he’s resumed his top-four, stay-at-home role for the Thunderbirds.
He’s not an offensive producer and has just five points in 32 AHL games this season, but he’s a relied-upon stay-at-home defender at that level and should help Springfield in that area now that he’s been sent back to the AHL.