St. Louis Blues “Demotion” Of Three Players No Need For Alarm

ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 9: Aaron Ekblad
ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 9: Aaron Ekblad /

The St. Louis Blues made some roster moves following their loss to the Florida Panthers. None of them have anything to do with the team or the individuals though.

The St. Louis Blues made three roster moves following their loss to the Florida Panthers. Despite what some fans might hope for, none of them had anything to do with the team’s performance of late.

Despite the lackadaisical play of this squad for periods at a time, St. Louis has pretty much settled into the roster they are comfortable with. Give or take a player here or there, this is likely the team we will see going forward, with the exception of Jaden Schwartz coming back.

That said, the Blues sent Tage Thompson, Ivan Barbashev and Vince Dunn to the AHL following the loss. The moves had nothing to do with the team’s play or the individual performances of any of those guys either.

It’s a simple move to keep young, developing players playing actual games instead of waiting around and practicing. This move is not a demotion in the normal sense of NHL to AHL movement.

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All three of these players are likely to return to the Blues prior to their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 16. They have all done too much for this to be an actual demotion.

Thompson has three goals and five points for the Blues, all since being called back up to the team in December. Barbashev has had an up and down season, but seems to have found himself a bit as well.

Barbashev has one goal and five points on the season. All of those have come within the last five games.

Dunn went out with the flu prior to the break, though he did return to practice just before the Florida game. He has three goals and seven points and, considering how poor the team’s power play has been, was one of the few bright spots when given a shot there.

If you wanted to, you could make the case that Barbashev or Dunn might stay down. Dunn would make the most sense, simply because the team seems comfortable playing their current six defensemen and the Blues might not want Dunn sitting in the press box.

That said, you have to question who the team might bring up that would not be in the same scenario. Jake Walman needs games just as much as anyone, as does Jordan Schmaltz.

Chris Butler would be an option. He would have to clear waivers if sent back down though.

No, it would make more sense to return Dunn to the lineup and continue the platoon. Barbashev is likely to stay as well, rewarding his resurgence this past week or two. Thompson is almost a lock to stay, given that he’s been the best player out on the ice on many shifts.

These moves are just to keep these guys playing. Barbashev and Dunn were sent to Chicago, who will play three games during the Blues bye week. Thompson went to San Antonio, who has two games before the Blues take the ice again.

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The good thing is these guys are being smart. They’re seeing this for what it is, which is basically conditioning.

"“It’s never a bad thing to get more games in,” Thompson said in a Post-Dispatch article. “Keep building on that confidence.”"

So, Blues Nation, there is nothing to fear. These players will return.