Now with Grachev surprising on the third line, moving Langenbrunner to the fourth line, there are obviously some notables who didn’t make the first four lines. You can read the recaps from each of the first four lines here (first, second, third, fourth).
The Blues will carry 13, potentially 14 forwards on the roster at the start of the season. Who is up to the players and how they define themselves in camp.
Today we take a look at the spare forwards that the Blues could keep on the roster for this upcoming season.
BJ Crombeen looks to be the first player out due to Grachev making opening day roster. Crombeen will get a good chunk of games this season no doubt, but he’s the first one to sit.
Crombeen is a very solid two-way player who plays a very physical game. He’s a gritty, hard-nosed player who has no problem sticking up for his teammates. He is that fourth line guy who can chip in 5-10 goals and upwards of 15-20 points a season. Not to mention his almost guaranteed 150 penalty minutes a season. He’s the kind of player you want on your due to his fighting ability as well as his ability to play a regular shift as well.
Jonathan Cheechoo, the former Rocket Richard winner has a chance to break the Blues roster as well. Thus far in training camp, Cheechoo has looked very solid and has shown glimpses of his former self. He has surely shown that he can still shoot the puck as well.
Ripped on for his slow foot speed, you can tell how hard he’s worked on his skating this off-season.
Jonathan, like Evgeny Grachev, could steal a roster spot out of camp, depending on his play. He’ll get a good look in some pre-season games and then the Blues will have to decide to keep him on the roster or send him down to the Peoria Rivermen.
Chris Porter, who got a long look last season with St. Louis, playing in 45 games for the Blues, has a good chance at making it as the 13th or 14th forward. He’s got a lot of speed to his game and plays a hitters game. At 6’1″, 200lbs, he’s got a decent frame to use in the corners. He had many chances to score but had a hard time finding the net last season.
He plays a solid defensive game as well which allows him to play in the bottom six for the Blues. While in Peoria, he’s a scorer and I have inkling that if he gets sent down, he could be named captain as well.
Porter has been in the organization for three seasons now could get another look in St. Louis this season.
Lastly, Ryan Reaves who is the likeliest candidate for the 14th roster spot plays a enforcer game with the ability to a semi-regular shift in the National Hockey League.
Reaves played in 28 games with the Blues last year didn’t look out of place. Scoring two goals and two assists, the Winnipeg native looked solid. His 78 penalty minutes reflected his play. The bruising enforcer was in a handful of bouts last season, including fighting guys like Theo Peckham, Paul Bisonnette, and Kyle Clifford.
Reaves could stick around to jump in the line up to due battle with other teams heavyweights.
Starting tomorrow, I’ll take a look at the defensive side of the puck and our first pairing defensemen.
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