On the fifth day of Bluesmas, our true love gave to me – just five St. Louis Blues over the age of 30
The St. Louis Blues are definitely not the youngest team in the NHL. You would not expect a Stanley Cup champion, one year removed, to have a ton of youth on its roster.
However, the lack of older players definitely gives the Blues an edge for staying competitive now and in the near future. In fact, the Blues have the vast majority of their roster in their prime ages.
Going into the 2021 season, the Blues will have just five players who are age 30 or over. Considering you have roughly 23 players on an NHL roster at any one point, that’s a very solid percentage that is below 30.
What is more, the Blues are not overly dependent on any of the players who are 30-plus. The one they depend on the most is David Perron, but even then, St. Louis is not looking for him to lead the team in goals ever year.
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All of them are still somewhat vital to the success of the Blues in 2021, but the team is not resting their hopes and dreams on the performances of any single one of those players. They have younger guys in those roles, allowing the savvy veterans to contribute in more ways than one.
Bozak still possesses the skill and tenacity to play in the top six if injuries require him to. However, at this stage, he’s doing a fantastic job as a winger on the third line and a mentor for Robert Thomas.
Bortuzzo has likely earned a spot as a regular this season on the third pair as the right-handed defenseman. The fact the Blues have enough depth to keep a steady player like Bortuzzo out of the lineup on some nights is reason to be happy with the defensive unit though.
Depending on if/when the Blues sign Vince Dunn, Gunnarsson might have to take a back seat as the extra man. Like Bortuzzo, his flashy days are behind him, but you know what you’re going to get from Gunny and it’s not often a bad game. If nothing else, Gunnarsson will always have the first game-winning goal for the franchise in a Stanley Cup Final game.
Scandella just needs to be steady as well. The team might not use him on a pairing with Colton Parayko, but as long as Scandella plays like he did when the Blues first acquired him, he’ll be fine even in a second pair role. The Blues love a player with reach and Scandella has that, so it is not like they are expecting him to be the fleetest of foot.
Perron is the one with the most left to offer. His chemistry with Ryan O’Reilly has rejuvenated his scoring touch and the lessons learned over the years have made Perron a much wiser player. If he could just stay out of the dang penalty box in key moments, he’d be glorious.
While the Blues don’t have a ton of high-end talent, the fact they are deep and don’t rely solely on the veterans is reason enough to think they will compete for the highest prize again in 2021. When you have a bunch of older players or your 30-plus aged players are the ones you rely on for everything is when your window is closing rapidly.
If you want to get technical, the Blues do have another player over 30 in Alex Steen. However, he’ll start 2021 on long term injured reserve and there has been no indication that he’s likely to come off that list.
Nevertheless, the fifth day of Bluesmas showcases the varied ages of the Blues and that youth is still on their side (at least for now).