After skating on a professional tryout to this point, Tyler Pitlick has finally earned an NHL contract with the St. Louis Blues. The team now has roster space to sign the veteran forward as Pavel Buchnevich has been moved to injured reserve. Pitlick will earn $750K this season on the one-year, one-way deal.
It was always a bit of a surprise that Pitlick couldn’t find a contract this summer, given it’s been six years since he stepped foot in the minor leagues. The 30-year-old forward is coming off a roller-coaster season that began with him getting claimed in the expansion draft by the Seattle Kraken, then traded to the Calgary Flames, and eventually swapped to the Montreal Canadiens as part of the Tyler Toffoli deal.
That tumultuous season led to just five points for the physical forward, not exactly what the Flames were hoping for when they used a fourth-round pick to nab him from the Kraken.
Now, with the Blues dealing with some injuries up front, Pitlick’s patience and hard work have paid off. He’s joining a group that is one of the most physical in the league, with a head coach who rewards the players that work hard and are willing to put their bodies on the line. It’s been that kind of career for Pitlick, who has racked up 659 hits in 325 regular season games, while chipping in 48 goals along the way.
A career-high 14 of those came with the Dallas Stars in 2017-18 but there’s no point really expecting that kind of offensive output at this point. Instead, he’ll give the group another hard-nosed, defensively-minded winger that can move around the lineup.
For Buchnevich, his IR placement is retroactive to his last game, meaning he can come off as soon as he’s ready to play. He and Brandon Saad both missed practice today, opening this opportunity for Pitlick to get back in the mix.