On September 19, the Blues named veteran center Brayden Schenn the 24th captain in the history of the St. Louis franchise. Alongside assistant captains Robert Thomas, Colton Parayko, and Justin Faulk, Schenn officially joins a long list of legends to wear the coveted “C” on a Blues sweater.
Schenn enters his 7th season with St. Louis, starting in the 2017-18 season after 6 seasons with the Philadephia Flyers. Through 6 seasons with the Blues, up until this point, he has logged 425 games, 131 goals, and 210 assists for 341 points in the most recent section of a 14-year NHL career. He’s also locked up with the Blues contract-wise through 2028-29, so there’s no worry for Blues fans about another David Backes situation happening.
Wearing the “C” has been somewhat of a long time coming for Schenn, who had worn the “A” for assistant captaincy under former Blues star Ryan O’Reilly. After O’Reilly was traded to Toronto back in February, the Blues went captainless for the remainder of the 2022-23 season.
Now, if Schenn can retain wearing the “C” until his contract expires in 2029, he’ll be the first Blues captain to wear it for 4+ seasons since Backes, who was the captain from 2011-2016 before being succeeded by Alex Pietrangelo (2016-20) and then, of course, O’Reilly (2020-23).
Heading into the 2023-24 season marks quite a task for Schenn and the rest of the Blues team, looking to rebound after having their first losing season (missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs) since 2007-08. They finished 14 points out of the second wild card in the Western Conference last season with a 37-38-7 record for 81 points.
After selling O’Reilly and longtime Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko leading up to the trade deadline, the team never truly committed to a full rebuild but instead focused more on a quicker retool. St. Louis also hasn’t missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons since 2009-10 and 2010-11, which is something they’re definitely trying to avoid this October.
Will Schenn’s brand new captaincy spur the Blues back to another playoff run like they had just a couple of years ago? Time will tell once the puck drops on October 12 at Central Division rival Dallas before their home opener against Seattle two days later.