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Training Camp Cuts; Roster Down To 30, Battle On Defense Down To Four

Updated 9/21: The Blues announced that they have assigned eight players to Peoria and that one more was returned to his major junior teams.

This leaves the team with 17 forwards on the roster (six centers, four right wings and seven left wings), nine defensemen (not including Eric Brewer: IR) and three goaltenders. The Blues will likely assign one more forward, two defensemen and one goalie to get down to NHL roster size (23 skaters, two goalies) before they leave for Sweden on Saturday.

Peoria Rivermen:

9/21: (Forwrards) Julian Talbot, Chris Porter, Nick Drazenovic, Ryan Reaves, Aaron Palushaj, Cam Paddock, (Defensemen) Steve Wagner, Brendan Bell (must pass waivers), (Goaltender) Hannu Toivonen 

9/20: (Forwards) Lars Eller, Brett Sonne, (Defensemen) Danny Richmond, Bryce Lampman

9/17: (Forwards) Adam Cracknell, Mitch Love, Chris Morehouse, Anthony Peluso, (Defensemen) T.J. Fast, Adrian Viedeman, Justin Fletcher, Alex Hellstrom, Ryan Turek, (Goalie) Sebastien Dahm


9/21: Philip McRae (London)

9/20: Jake Allen (Montreal)

9/17: James Livingston (Sault Ste Marie), Tyler Shattock (Kamloops), Mark Cundari (Windsor), Brett Ponich (Portland)

After the jump is our updated list from our original training camp preview.


Derek Armstrong: Recently signed after six seasons in Los Angeles, the Andy Murray-favorite is playing for an NHL job.

Patrik Berglund: Clearly has a spot on the team, he'll be playing to determine his role on the top two lines and power play unit.

Nicholas Drazenovic: The 22-year-old Blues draft pick is trying to break through the AHL/NHL bubble. Assigned to Peoria on 9/21.

Lars Eller: The former first rounder is hoping to make the NHL team. Assigned to Peoria on 9/20.

Jay McClement: Silent Jay has locked down the title of "Franchise Checking Center" and the job is his to lose for the forseeable future.

Andy McDonald: NHLer who has the top line job unless he fails to impress.

Philip McRae: Blues second rounder looking to impress for the future. Returned to London of the OHL on 9/21.

Cam Paddock: A 26-year-old AHLer who got a cup of coffee here last year and is looking to make sure his name is considered for call-up if the need arrives. Assigned to Peoria on 9/21.

Brett Sonne: High-profile draftee who is looking to impress. Assigned to Peoria on 9/20.

Yan Stastny: Riding the AHL/NHL bubble, Stastny needs to break out of the pack of similar players on the roster if he wants to get out of Peoria.

Julian Talbot: The 24-year-old AHLer will be trying to turn heads for a possible call-up. Assigned to Peoria on 9/21.

Keith Tkachuk: NHLer who we still can't believe is lining up at center after only 16 years as an NHL left wing.

Number of NHL jobs available at center: Zero (McDonald, Berglund, McClement, Tkachuk). Position changes will be necessary for someone else to make the roster.

Potential to upset the list: Armstrong, a noted Murray favorite. Eller, if not for recently-diagnosed mononucleosis, would have had a shot.

Right Wings:

David Backes: David Backes is all that is man. After his breakout 31-goal campaign, he's playing for top-line consideration.

Brad Boyes: Will we hear again this year that Boyes' goal is to hit the net more rather than trying to pick corners and missing the goal completely? Because that's what we really want to hear. Again.

Adam Cracknell: The 24-year-old free agent signee has bounced around the AHL and ECHL since being drafted in the 9th round by Cal and Gary back in 2004. Assigned to Peoria on 9/17.

B.J. Crombeen: The Beej is playing to determine his role; would have to pass through waivers to go to Peoria.

Cam Janssen: NHLer whose role probably needs to be better defined. Is he competing with DJ King or will they both stay on the roster?

James Livingston: 2008 draftee (3rd round) who has no more junior eligibility and is playing to make the Rivermen. Returned to Sault Ste Marie of the OHL on 9/17.

Aaron Palushaj: 2007 second rounder who has impressed at every turn and is playing to put his name in the mouths of the NHL coaching staff. Assigned to Peoria on 9/21.

Ryan Reaves: 2005 fifth rounder is playing for a job in Peoria. Assigned to Peoria on 9/21.

Tyler Shattock: Fourth rounder from this summer in his first camp with the Blues, he's likely on the ECHL/AHL bubble. Returned to Kamloops of thye WHL on 9/17.

Number of NHL jobs available at right wing: Zero (Backes, Boyes, Crombeen, Janssen). Position changes will be necessary for someone else to make the roster. 

Potential to upset the list: Palushaj. Likely a Peoria stud this year, he has excelled at every level since being drafted, including the recent Prospect Tournament in Traverse City.

Left Wings:

Paul Kariya: On the roster.

D.J. King: The question is what roles he and Cam Janssen will be given. Will they fight for one job? Can both make the team?

Mitch Love: Undrafted 25-year-old AHL/ECHL veteran on a tryout with the team. Assigned to Peoria on 9/17.

T.J. Oshie: Just a question of what line the Teej is playing on come opening day. Will he get power play time? Penalty kill?

Anthony Peluso: 2007 sixth rounder playing for the first time on a professional team. Will it be in Alaska or Peoria? Assigned to Peoria on 9/17.

David Perron: NHLer playing to determine his role. Likely to get power play time this year as well.

Chris Porter: The 25-year-old got six games in a Bluenote last year and will be looking to impress for consideration for call-up from the AHL if needed. Assigned to Peoria on 9/21.

Alexander Steen: NHLer who is either a great checking line forward or who still has potential to become a scoring line winger (though that would likely have to be on another team).

Barry Tallackson: Former Golden Gopher with 20 NHL games on his resume, recently-signed Tallackson is likely Peoria-bound.

Brad Winchester: Recently re-signed, a spot on the NHL team his his to lose.

Number of NHL jobs available at left wing: Two less than zero (Kariya, King, Oshie, Perron, Steen, Winchester).

Potential to upset the list: None.


Brendan Bell: Recently signed free agent with 101 NHL games played, he'll be playing for one of the available NHL jobs on the blueline. Assigned to Peoria on 9/21.

Eric Brewer: Captain Roboto is not ready to play due to his knee and back surgeries. His absence leaves a a job opening.

Carlo Colaiacovo: An NHL job is his to lose, as is his spot on the power play.

Mark Cundari: Playing for his first professional job, though that's likely either in Peoria or Alaska. Returned to Windsor of the OHL on 9/17.

T.J. Fast: 2005 second rounder will likely be back in Peoria this year. Assigned to Peoria on 9/17.

Justin Fletcher: At 26, an AHL mainstay. Assigned to Peoria on 9/17.

Alexander Hellstrom: Dancing the ECHL/AHL line. Assigned to Peoria on 9/17.

Barret Jackman: NHLer who will likely, thankfully, lose his power play time this year.

Erik Johnson: NHLer with something to prove. Let's see him prove it.

Jonas Junland: has an outside shot at an NHL job, but would have to really impress.

Bryce Lampman: Welcome to the AHL, Bryce. At least it's not the KHL like last year, right? Free agent signee, the 27-year-old has 10 NHL games, zero points and a minus-5. Assigned to Peoria on 9/20.

Alex Pietrangelo: Due to his juniors-or-NHL-only situation, he'll get a very long look to make the Blues.

Roman Polak: NHLer who will be battling for time on the power play and penalty kill.

Brett Ponich: Second rounder from this summer who was a big off-the-board pick is on the ECHL/AHL bubble. Returned to Portland of the WHL on 9/17.

Danny Richmond: 2003 second rounder of the Blackhawks, the window is closing on Richmond's NHL dream. A perfect camp will be required to avoid going to Peoria. Assigned to Peoria on 9/20.

Tyson Strachan: Fairly impressive in limited NHL service last year, Strachan has an outside chance at one of the available jobs on the Blues' defensive corps.

Darryl Sydor: Cup-winner (Lightning, Stars) veteran of 17 NHL seasons, Sydor is in camp on a tryout and likely has a good chance at winning a job due to Brewer's injury. Unsigned, however, means he could receive an offer from any other team at any time.

Ryan Turek: 2006 fourth rounder, Turek is on the Alaska/Peoria bubble. Assigned to Peoria on 9/17.

Adrian Veideman: A 26-year-old on a tryout who is so far off the grid that not even TSN's exhaustive list has info on him. At first, we thought the Blues had invited the World's Smartest Man to camp. Which would be cool, except that we'd rather have Rorschach on the roster than that fucking prima donna Ozymandias. Assigned to Peoria on 9/17.

Steve Wagner: Look, we're big fans of Dancin' Stevie Wagner, but he's definitely on the outside looking in on the battle for an open spot on the pro roster. He'll likely be a late cut, sent back to Peoria. Assigned to Peoria on 9/21.

Mike Weaver: The journeyman NHLer is nonetheless, an NHLer. A solid depth defenseman who is remarkably effective on the penalty kill, Monkey Arms is on the Blues roster unless he inexplicably implodes during camp.

Number of NHL jobs available on defense: Two (Colaiacovo, Jackman, Johnson, Polak, Weaver; with Brewer on IR).

Most likely to win the jobs (in order of likelihood): Sydor, Pietrangelo, Bell.

Outside shots: Strachan, Junland, Fast.


Jake Allen: The latest goalie in the Blues' system to carry the mantle of "The Future In Net," Allen will have to wait for the future to take the ice in St. Louis. Returned to Montreal of the QMJHL on 9/20.

Ben Bishop: It's all but official that Bishop will be the starter in Peoria, gaining minutes, experience and training under the bleary, semi-watchful eyes of new goaltending consultant Eddie Belfour. A man, not insignificantly, who was probably serenaded by a younger Ben Bishop in a chorus of "Beeeelllllllll-Fooooooouuuuuuur!" chants. Weird.

Ty Conklin: The summer signee de facto backup NHLer. Will he be content to be the designated door-opener or is he going to push for the starter's job? You know, like last year's back-up, Weird Beard Mason, did to last year's starter Manny Legace....

Sebastian Dahm: On a tryout, we hope Dahm does a sweet Sebastian Bach impression. There are jobs available in the organization and this Dane would probably like one of them. Assigned to Peoria on 9/17.

Chris Mason: The Starter. Is he going to be as unreal as he was down the stretch last year or will he start looking over his shoulder with Conklin in the fold?

Hannu Toivonen: Not a typo. When Ears exploded a couple years ago and fled to Europe we all figured that would be the last we'd see of the Finn. But he's back and he's hoping to re-start his NHL career. At just 25 years of age, we suppose it's possible. But we're skeptical. And gunshy. Assigned to Peoria on 9/21.

Number of NHL jobs available in goal: Zero (Mason, Conklin). Bishop will be the starter in peoria and the guy called up if injuries occur.

Potential to upset the list: None. Too much money is invested in the top two guys and too much icetime will be given to Bishop and Allen at their respective levels to change this list.