This postseason, Alexander Steen did not post huge numbers. Four goals and six assists in 20 games isn't the kind of production that fans expect from Steen, and some fans actively wondered what was up. Well, now we know. From the Blues' press release:
The St. Louis Blues announced this Friday night that forward Alexander Steen underwent successful surgery to repair his injured left shoulder. He is expected to be sidelined 4-6 months. Four months from today would be October 3rd, approximately one week before the opening of the 2016-2017 season.
Steen originally injured his shoulder on February 20th in Arizona after being hit on a play in the offensive zone. He had played just 2:13 of the first period but registered a goal and an assist in just 5 shifts before being injured. After missing the next 15 games he returned with 6 games to go in the regular season and helped the Blues to playoff series wins over Chicago and Colorado as the Blues advanced to the Conference Final for the first time since 2001.
Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager credits Steen’s work ethic and dedication to fitness for his return this season. "Alexander suffered the original shoulder injury in February 20th in Arizona. He rehabbed and worked hard to get back and be a big part in the team’s run to the Conference Final. Alex is one of the most dedicated players in the NHL when it comes to fitness and we’re thrilled things went well today, " said Armstrong.
Basically, that nagging shoulder injury that knocked Steen out for 15 games continued to nag through the playoffs. The extended playing time for his left shoulder probably more than likely exacerbated the already existing, but healing injury.
While it is disappointing to see that there is a possibility that Steen could miss all of training camp, it is more so disappointing to see that he could miss the beginning of the season - or the first couple of months. The Blues are used to this injury issue, though - they survived last season with players going down at various and sundry times - but Steen isn't a player that you want out of the lineup for an extended period of time.
It goes without saying that the surgery has knocked him out of playing in the World Cup of Hockey this September. Will Sweden replace him with fellow Blue Patrik Berglund? Berglund played well this postseason, and his play after missing half of the year with injury was solid. Team Sweden could do worse.