Crombeen breaks shoulder, Grachev, Reaves and Porter stay with Blues

A late-game injury to B.J. Crombeen opened the door for the Blues to keep all three of the players who were battling for the last two forward roster spots. Falling awkwardly into the boards in the third period of the team's last preseason game, Crombeen broke his shoulder (scapula) and will obviously not be ready to start the season.

Evgeny Grachev, Ryan Reaves and Chris Porter, who were battling for the 13th and 14th forward spots, were all retained by the Blues. Grachev scored five points in five preseason games and may earn a chance to play with scorers when he does get into the lineup. Porter, who had an extended NHL audition last season, will provide fourth line minutes and will play a strong defense-first game. His speed, hustle and willingness to get into the dirty areas of the ice are his calling cards. Reaves will hold down the enforcer's role, though he is a solid skater and can play a solid defensive game and has the potential to chip in a couple points along the way.

It will be interesting to see which players get the most ice and which get the most time on the Matt Walker Pressbox Tour of the NHL this season. It hurts to lose a high-tempo, hard working forward like Crombeen, but it does give the Blues an opportunity to see what they have in Reaves, Grachev and Porter.

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