Colton Parayko Out As St. Louis Blues Continue To Be Snake Bitten

St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (55)Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (55)Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

When it comes to the injury bug, if the St. Louis Blues didn’t have bad luck, they’d have no luck at all. That might be preferable to what they’re going through at the moment.

While the team has yet to confirm anything, Jeremy Rutherford of the Athletic reported that Colton Parayko has been dealing with a back issue. According to his piece, there is no timetable for Parayko because they do not fully know the extent of the injury.

For now, the Blues will rest him and hope the situation improves. Rutherford’s source did not seem to give much hope though, since they do not know if rest will improve anything.

For fans, it’s impossible to know what this might be. It definitely does not sound good when in the first few paragraphs of Rutherford’s piece, it says it is not known if the injury will require surgery.

Every doctor is different and so is every injury. However, as a generic rule, many doctors will tell you to avoid back surgery if you can.

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As someone who has dealt with back problems, and had family with the same, the back is such an odd part of the body to have problems with. It can literally cause injuries all over the body because other parts try to compensate if you’re having an issue back there.

If it’s a muscle problem, that’s something that could possibly be dealt with. Mobility might be lessened, but you fan figure ways to get past that without further damage, in most cases.

If it’s a spinal issue, things are not as rosy. Even with minor compression of the discs, you can be perfectly fine for hours, days or even weeks and then one wrong move sets everything on fire and you can barely move like a normal human.

We have seen it affect Parayko already. While he was still decent, his speed is all but gone. Already reluctant to shoot at times, Parayko has become a nonfactor offensively because he cannot torque to shoot.

Everything is against the Blues in this scenario. They don’t have the time to wait and see, but you’ve put all your chips in the Parayko basket.

The Blues cannot afford to rush him back and give him chronic problems since he was thought of as the heir apparent to Alex Pietrangelo and a big reason the team was comfortable letting Petro go. That thought process couldn’t even last more than a few months with this wrinkle.

St. Louis cannot afford to let him rest too much either. They’re already reaching critical mass when it comes to being thin in their roster and we all marveled about their depth going into 2021.

On paper, the Blues have a little while to decide. Their next eight games are against the California teams, who are all on the outside of the playoff picture right now.

That has not mattered much though, since the Blues have split games with both Los Angeles and San Jose already.

As important as Parayko is, St. Louis should be able to survive through this if it’s just a couple weeks of rest. Justin Faulk has ascended to a very capable number one defender and Torey Krug has been good as well.

Niko Mikkola deserves to not be a healthy scratch, so this will benefit him. The worrying thing is what happens if anyone else gets dinged up.

The Blues are already using fourth-line players further up the roster due to injuries with the forwards. They can only withstand so much before performance falters more than it has.

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Hopefully, this will be something that can be managed for this season and dealt with further during the offseason. If not, the Blues gamble regarding Pietrangelo is on the edge of a knife, leaning towards not working.