>>Blues Berglund Could Be Out Up To 4 Months
The St. Louis Blues suffered a tough offseason blow Thursday when it was revealed that center Patrik Berglund had re-aggravated a shoulder injury while training. The club announced the veteran center will undergo surgery Friday and is expected to be reevaluated in four months.
According to the team, Berglund's initial shoulder injury was suffered during the 2013-14 season.
Berglund's injury may explain why the Blues reportedly invited veteran center Scott Gomez to training camp on a tryout basis. In addition to Berglund's injury, Blues forward Jori Lehtera is currently recovering from ankle surgery. Lehtera may miss the opening of training camp, but is expected to be ready for the season.
Berglund, however, will miss a substantial chunk of the beginning of the 2015-16 campaign.
The 27-year-old center had 27 points including 12 goals last season. He also had four points over six games in the playoffs. Utilized in more of a two-way role, the Blues will miss his veteran presence and size down the middle to start the year.
This development could end up opening the door wider for top prospect Robby Fabbri to earn a role with the team out of training camp. It also gives Gomez a much better shot of seizing a permanent roster spot while on his tryout deal.
In 513 NHL games, all with the Blues, Berglund has posted 247 points.
>>Blues Could Invite Scott Gomez To Camp For Tryout
The St. Louis Blues are going to see what, if anything, free agent forward Scott Gomez has left in the tank. Following the revelation that the New Jersey Devils would not be re-signing the 35-year-old center, not even on a tryout basis, Gomez has accepted an invitation to Blues' training camp on a professional tryout contract according to Andy Strickland of CBS Sports Radio in St. Louis.
Gomez, a former Calder Trophy winner and veteran of 15 NHL seasons, had 34 points in 58 games with the Devils last season. It was his best showing since 2010-11 when he had 38 points for the Montreal Canadiens.
As a potential cheap depth addition, he could provide some value. It looks like Gomez would be in tough to make the NHL roster, though.
The Blues are nearing the salary cap ceiling with about $1.7 million to spare and are already heavy on centers. One has to wonder what, if any, impact Blues assistant general manager Martin Broduer had on extending this invitation as a longtime teammate of Gomez's while the two were in New Jersey.
Last season showed that Gomez still has something to offer with a points-per-game rate nearing 0.6. Teams obviously weren't falling all over themselves to pick him up after that, but you can't say he didn't provide value for the $550,000 he made last season.
A team that needs affordable depth could stand to gain from a veteran like Gomez, who is also a two-time Stanley Cup winner. It's a gamble, but on a PTO, it's about as low-risk a gamble as there is in the league currently.