Thursday, September 20, 2007

No Surprises in St. Louis

The Blues assigned 19 players to either their AHL affiliate in Peoria or Europe on Wednesday and there was really no surprises in that list. Marek Schwarz was sent down, but he lost a bit of priority when the Blues brought in Hannu Toivonen to the organization. Schwarz will likely see the bulk of the starting duty in Peoria to brush up on the starting job position. The names still getting a look in camp are Martin Kariya, David Perron, Yan Statsny, Roman Polak and Erik Johnson.

It really shouldn't come as a surprise to see Erik Johnson in the line-up for St. Louis come their opening game, October 4th away to Phoenix. Johnson, the 1st overall pick in 2006, comes with high expectations this season. The Hockey News projects him to have 38 points this season, which is quite high for the rookie defenseman. The Score ranks him even higher at 46 points this season. Needless to say, the professional hockey pundits say he's here to stay.

It's unclear whether or not the forwards listed above will crack the line-up, but they are all getting a considerable look, possibly for mid-season call-ups for injuries or cold play. The Blues are in good shape heading into the season, but it's tough to tell how competitive they will actually be against the big clubs in the West.

Paul KariyaDoug WeightKeith Tkachuk
Lee StempniakBrad BoyesMartin Rucinsky
Petr CajanekJay McClementDavid Backes
Jamal MayersDan HinoteRyan Johnson
Eric BrewerBarrett Jackman
Christian BackmanBryce Salvador
Jay McKeeErik Johnson
Jeff Woywitka
Manny Legace
Hannu Toivonen

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