The St. Louis Blues were forced to make roster moves on the afternoon of November 5, 2021. The team has had more names added to the covid protocol list and they also found out Brayden Schenn would be out for an undetermined amount of time after he was returned to St. Louis from their west-coast road trip.
The interesting part of that is that the Blues chose to bring in reinforcements for the blue line on the day they lose a forward. This may mean Oskar Sundqvist is ready to return or it may simply mean the Blues are more concerned about their defense.
Whatever the case, as is usual, fans tend to see things from the negative perspective. Already there is uproar about Scott Perunovich not being the man called up.
On the surface, this is an understandable reaction. For a time, Perunovich was actually leading the AHL in scoring. Through six games, Perunovich has two goals and 10 points. That seems like a good enough start to get a recall, especially since he was one of the last names sent down after training camp.
Yet, the Blues have decent reason to not recall Perunovich. The main reason is due to him needing to play games.
Perunovich played absolutely no games in the 2020-21 season. Due to all the madness with the pandemic, the only hockey he got was practicing with the Blues taxi squad during their 2021 season. His college did not play and St. Louis was unable to send him to the AHL due to Springfield taking the season off.
He needs to play. Even with his hot start, the Blues cannot really afford to have Perunovich’s season disrupted just yet.
Rosen may not play at all during his call up. Additionally, though it is only 20 games across three seasons, Rosen has NHL experience.
At this point in the season, it makes more sense for the Blues to bring up someone who has been in the NHL and let Perunovich continue learning the pro game on the ice instead of from the press box.
Despite their high hopes for him, the Blues don’t think of Perunovich as being part of their plans just yet. Perhaps that may change later in the season or after the trade deadline.
Rosen will essentially be there in case of emergency. Perunovich will continue to play on a regular basis, likely getting top-pairing minutes with Springfield.
It’s understandable that fans are frustrated, especially with St. Louis being such a baseball town. They’ve been burned with seeing guys hit for power or average in Memphis and not get rewarded with a call up to St. Louis and wondered why.
That’s been a mixed bag as to why and whether it was right. In this case, for the Blues, it is right.
Perunovich’s time will come. It’s just not yet.
If nothing else, it doesn’t make sense risking getting him sick since it feels like everyone will end up on protocol eventually.