Marco Scandella is looking to have his next healthy regular season campaign after playing in only a fraction of the St. Louis Blues 2022-23 season. The 33-year-old D-man looks to finally exorcise his demons in the form of a lower-back injury.
That kept him out for the final month of 2022-23, the latest in a series of outs going back to the 2021-22 season, his 3rd with the team. Since joining St. Louis in 2019-20, where he only managed 11 regular season games, Scandella has totaled 150 games played, with 7 goals and 19 assists for 26 points, a relatively low total for defensemen in this day and age. But, those stats aren’t exactly his fault when he was off and on the injured list repeatedly in the last 2 seasons before this upcoming.
It’s not just his own frailty that Scandella may have to worry about heading into this October. With 8 defensemen rostered, but only 6 spots for the regular season, the Blues could ship him and another veteran out. Whether or not that happens depends on whether Scandella can return to his old playing ways, in the days where he’d log most of the 82 regular season games.
He’s done the full count only once in a 4-team, 13-year career, (2017-18 with Buffalo; 5 goals, 17 assists, 22 pts). Still, he could try and at least aim for his best St. Louis total – 70 games played in 2021-22 – where he had 3 goals and 11 assists for 14 points.
If he can prove his worth, it may also get him a possible extension. Scandella has just this season left on his current 4-year, $13.1 million contract before being eligible to become a UFA in 2024-25.
Before that, however, Scandella could be a real bargaining chip at the deadline table next March. Whether or not he gets put on the market after this season remains to be seen, but for a guy who literally said his team was underrated with high praises for the Blues’ top lines, new coaching staff and goaltending, things may be already looking up.