The St. Louis Blues made the expected moves of activating Torey Krug and Vladimir Tarasenko today, but it came with some bad news. Pavel Buchnevich has been moved to injured reserve after a minor surgical procedure to address an ankle infection. Buchnevich will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break.
Some would argue that there is no more important player to the Blues than Buchnevich, who leads all forwards in ice time and has registered 38 points in 38 games this season. Losing him for any length of time will be difficult, though the team did stress the minor nature of the procedure.
On the bright side, Krug and Tarasenko will return after missing long stretches, helping to cover Buchnevich’s absence. It’s the latter that will be so interesting to watch as the trade deadline approaches and his time in St. Louis potentially comes to an end.
Tarasenko has only ever played for the Blues, and has reached the 30-goal plateau in six of his seven full seasons. This year, when healthy, he has still been excellent, racking up 10 goals and 29 points in 34 games. While he may not be the dynamic, game-changing power forward of a few years ago, Tarasenko would still be an impressive pickup for a contender at the deadline.
Of course, the Blues still have eyes on the playoffs themselves. Sitting at 23-21-3 on the year, they aren’t out of the Central Division race by any means. Getting two key veterans back should only help that chase, starting tonight with a game against the Buffalo Sabres.