St. Louis Blues: What Happens If Colton Parayko Is Injured

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 19: Colton Parayko
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 19: Colton Parayko /

The St. Louis Blues and their fans are collectively holding their breath at this moment. The question on everyone’s mind is the health of Colton Parayko.

The St. Louis Blues faced the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night. They were without the services of their up and coming defenseman Colton Parayko for the end of the third period in that contest.

Parayko took a puck to the hand or arm, depending on which reports or sources you get the information from. Regardless of where it actually struck, the big man did not return for the end of the game in the Blues tight 4-3 win.

We were initially told after the game by Craig Berube more would be known on Friday. If the team knows, they are not letting the public know. Perhaps even scarier, maybe the team does not know yet.

Bottom line, the Blues likely won’t say anything until they reveal their roster prior to their game in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

According to Jeremy Rutherford, Parayko appeared to have no ill effects or be wearing any bandages. That is a positive sign, but we’ve been fooled before. It seems to be Blues luck to think a player will be ok and suddenly they are gone for an extended time.

So, while it seems he will be alright and things will continue down their current path, what happens to the Blues if he is not OK? What happens if he has to miss time?

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As big a loss as Parayko would be, the team should be able to weather the storm if it is not long term. St. Louis already has an extra defenseman on the roster in Nate Prosser.

Prosser is nowhere close to a true replacement for Parayko, but he’s been around the block. He would slide into that third pairing and you could either move up Vince Dunn or Robert Bortuzzo (I can hear the collective groans).

Bortuzzo would be more likely since he’s a right handed shot. As much hate as he has been receiving online, he has done a decent job in his primary role, which is defending the puck. Offensively, you’d definitely take a hit.

Dunn fills the offensive role much better, but might not be quite ready for second pairing minutes. At least not in the coaches’ eyes.

A far less likely scenario would see the Blues promote someone from their minor league system. Jake Walman was one of the final players the Blues sent down following training camp.

He clearly made an impression on the team. However, he has only featured in three games for the Chicago Wolves, registering no points and a minus-4 rating.

Fans, surely, would not mind seeing him get a crack at the lineup. It just seems rather unlikely given the team wants him playing, not sitting and Prosser has been waiting patiently.

The final scenario is that Jay Bouwmeester is rushed back. Initially it seemed as though he might be ready before Alex Steen.

That was clearly a wrong assumption when they both went down because Bouwmeester has not even begun skating with his teammates yet. That basically means the timetable is unknown, aka not close.

This would be a mistake given that the Blues will need a healthy Bouwmeester come playoff time. If he’s ready, then by all means the team should use him. You cannot rush him back though.

It would be a short-sighted move in an effort to keep things rolling in the short term. Long term, that would likely be detrimental to.

Any of these scenarios present large drawbacks. The Blues are hit hard enough with injury and you wonder how many more they could handle without cracking. Parayko also has huge skates to fill and I don’t mean in the physical sense. He’s a puck handler, has good vision, skates incredibly well for a man his size and has a cannon (if he’d unleash it).

No other player can do all those things in one. It would be defending by committee as the Blues have done with some of their other injuries.

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In all likelihood, none of these will need to be explored. If Parayko had a broken wrist or arm, there would have been signs for the media to see.

Nevertheless, Blues fans have been bitten before. So, it is best to prepare ourselves for the worst and hope for the best. That is kind of what being a Blues fan is all about in many respects.