This offseason, restricted free agent Vince Dunn was signed to a show me season worth $1.875 million. He hasn’t shown much. After a disastrous game Sunday night in which Carl Grundstrom caught Dunn beyond flat footed on a play that resulted in a goal, Dunn was a healthy scratch for Tuesday night’s game. He’s been a fixture on the third pairing, where he’s averaged a little over 16 minutes a night. With Robert Bortuzzo out, Carl Gunnarsson playing well, and Niko Mikkola right there needing playing time - and making the most of it - Dunn’s the odd person out.
Mikkola has played in three games this year, and saw 10:40 TOI Tuesday night. The Blues also recalled Scott Perunovich to the taxi squad Monday, presumably to cover for Nikkola’s absence.
Dunn is a useful defenseman and a Stanley Cup winner who is not living up to his potential right now. Thankfully for him, his contract is reasonable. I say “thankfully for him,” because that reasonable contract may make him appealing to another team where he could get regular ice time. TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported Tuesday that the Blues are currently shopping Dunn around. Dunn could fill a hole on a team that lacks the defensive depth of the Blues - Flyers fans are already sniffing around - while his trade could open some possibilities for younger defenseman. It’s still a young season, but it’s also a short season, and it looks like Dunn may have a short leash.