First, defenseman Marco Scandella reported an off-season workout injury that requires hip surgery and at least a six month absence from play. Blues fans assumed that this just meant that the eight person log-jam at defense was down to seven, which is manageable. It just becomes a fight for the sixth man at that point, totally doable.
On September 27, Scott Perunovich was injured during the first period of the Blues’ 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Head coach Craig Berube spoke of Perunovich’s injury prognosis with an uncertain tone, and today we’re figuring out why. If it didn’t look good when the injury happened, it’s probably not going to look good after a medical evaluation.
Unfortunately, that’s what’s happening here. The Blues announced today that Perunovich will undergo shoulder surgery and be re-evaluated in six months.
This is another upper body injury for a defenseman that is starting to get a bit of a reputation for being injury prone early in his career. “Injury prone” of course isn’t any fault of the player (unless the guy’s out there flinging himself into the glass on purpose) but it may be an indirect result of his 175lb frame. A bit more muscle might make takin the big hits harder, but for the next six months, all Perunovich needs to worry about is recovery and rehab of his shoulder.
Whether this is an opportunity for the Blues to trade for a new defenseman (they’re still being discussed where Jakob Chychrun is concerned) or to just let Calle Rosen get a chance to show what he can do remains to be seen. In six months, when Perunovich and Scandella return, adding a new defenseman with a big contract would make extra work for Doug Armstrong and could possibly make signing Ryan O’Reilly to a contract extension even harder than it already might be.