Dan O'Neill writes that the value of Blues' role player was overestimated.
His $2,725,000 salary will carry over to the season in which he returns to the NHL.
Club traded Polak’s muscle for Gunnarsson’s maneuverability in an attempt to strengthen transition game.
The forward will play 2014-15 in Russia. He will make $2,725,000 for the season in which he returns to the NHL.
GM Doug Armstrong is able to sign free agents Steve Ott and Chris Butler to favorable deals.
Instead of bringing up a player from Peoria, the Blues have opted to bring in another new face to the roster.
The open spot comes after defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo was placed on the injury reserve Tuesday morning. Colaiacovo is suffering from a series of headaches that may or may not be symptoms of a concussion.
Blues GM Doug Armstrong was very careful to not use the word “concussion” too much when speaking with the press.
"It's symptoms right now," said Armstrong. "Carlo's had concussions in the past and he does have headaches right now, so we're just keeping him off the ice until those subside."
In Colaiacovo’s absence, the Blues have claimed defenseman Taylor Chorney off waivers from the Edmonton Oilers.
Chorney, 24, has appeared in 56 NHL games and has contributed 1 goal, 6 assists and 7 points spanning over parts of three seasons. He has spent his entire professional career as a member of the Oilers organization. In his AHL career, Chorney has added 12 goals, 38 assists and 50 points over 146 career AHL games.
"He's a good-skating, first-pass puck player that we thought would give us an opportunity to take a look at him here when we have the roster space available,” Armstrong said. “He'll come in here and be ready to be at practice tomorrow and be on the road with us."
Last season, Chorney ranked 5th among Oilers defenseman with a minus-5 rating. Keep in mind that Chorney was on the roster of the worst NHL team last season.
So why not bring up Ian Cole from the Rivermen?
Here is why; Cole needs to play quality minutes. Chorney will strictly be used as the Blues’ 7th defenseman. If the Blues brought Cole up to play as the 7th man, he would see a lot of time sitting in the press box. With Cole staying as the top-defenseman in Peoria, he will still be playing against top AHL talent every game.
Chorney, although still young, is a better player to utilize as the extra defenseman. He can step in when the Blues need him to and there will not be any worries about a homegrown defenseman not getting quality playing time.
With Colaiacovo on IR and Chorney as the extra defenseman, I would expect to see the same Blues’ defensive lineup from Monday in this Thursday’s game in Dallas:
Alex Pietrangelo – Kent Huskins
Barret Jackman – Kevin Shattenkirk
Nikita Nikitin – Roman Polak
Quotes courtesy Lou Korac of the Associated Press.