The St. Louis Blues didn’t make many fans happy with their approach to the 2023 offseason. Many were certain that the defense would be addressed one way or the other.
St. Louis didn’t pick up any free agents. They did make one trade, but only acquired a center in Kevin Hayes.
Time will tell if Hayes is a top-six player or top nine, but he’s a forward regardless. The Blues intended to go into 2023-24 with the same defensive group and hope they played better.
That plan is already off to a bang of a start. Training camp has not even begun and news came out that Torey Krug is already hurt.
It hasn’t been the greatest of runs for Krug with the Blues. Staying healthy has not been a strong suit of late.
Technically, he played close to a full season in 2020-21, his first in St. Louis. However, he only played 51 games out of 56 due to the covid-shortened season.
The Blues have not seen enough of Krug after that. He has yet to play more than 64 games with the Blues.
The last time he played more than that with anyone was 74 in Boston in 2017-18. He has not played a full season since 2016-17.
As the cherry on top of this situation, getting hurt is not going to please the Blues fan base after Krug already nixed a big trade the team cooked up in the summer. St. Louis was about to get Hayes and a top defender from the Flyers, but Krug allegedly had no intention of playing for the tanking Flyers.
That was his right, but fans were not happy about it. Just as he had the right to deny the trade, fans have the right to be upset that it didn’t happen.
Now, approaching a season where the Blues needed everyone firing on all cylinders, Krug won’t even start training camp. That is all that has been said, but who knows if he will even be ready for the season opener.
The team website said his right-foot injury will be reevaluated on October 1. The season starts October 12.
If he was ready to go on October 1, he would only get in two preseason games. As a veteran, preseason isn’t incredibly important, but he’ll need to get his legs back under him after not being able to do much on an injured foot.
Injuries aren’t the fault of the person, but when it is a reoccurring theme, it’s hard to get behind a guy. The Blues brought Krug in thinking they had their top, left handed defenseman and it just has not worked out so far.
Krug still has talent, but Blues fans haven’t seen it. He’s missed time and never quite seemed comfortable. He regularly had 50-plus points in Boston and his best in St. Louis was 43.
While it might not be his fault he gets hurt, it just complicates an already delicate situation. The Blues already needed their defensive unit to play a lot better in 2023-24 just to have a shot at the playoffs.
Now, the team will already be using jumbled up pairings that might not be what they actually want to use. It’s more of a mess.
For his sake, and the team’s, let us all hope this is a minor injury and the only time he misses this season.