The St. Louis Blues announced on Wednesday that Sammy Blais will undergo surgery on his right wrist and be re-evaluated in ten weeks.
In a corresponding move, the team inked Troy Brouwer to a one-year, $750,000 deal, according to Andy Strickland of Fox Sports Midwest. Brouwer signed a professional tryout with the team earlier this month after the Blues lost both Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen to long-term injuries.
Blais suffered his injury in St. Louis’ 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.
The loss of the 23-year-old is significant to the Blues. After helping St. Louis win its first Stanley Cup in franchise history last summer, Blais came storming out of the gates to begin the 2019-20 campaign. A sixth-round selection of the Blues in the 2014 NHL draft, Blais picked up three goals and two assists in his first five games of the season.
By the time he suffered his injury on Tuesday, he had already set new season highs in goals (five) and points (eight) in just 20 regular season games.
This will be Brouwer’s second tenure with the Blues organization. After being acquired by St. Louis in the July 2015 trade that sent T.J. Oshie to Washington, Brouwer racked up 39 points in 82 games during the 2015-16 season. After helping the Blues advance to the Western Conference Final that spring — which they lost in six games to the San Jose Sharks — the 34-year-old winger agree to a four-year, $18 million deal with the Calgary Flames.
A couple of mediocre campaigns later, the Flames bought out his contract in August of 2018 and he signed a one-year deal with the Florida Panthers ahead of last season. Brouwer would go on to score 12 goals and collect 21 points in 75 games.
He has yet to skate in a professional game this season.
Blais’ current situation is both disappointing for him and his fantasy hockey owners. His explosive start offensively wasn’t the only thing that made him a popular free-agent pickup in many Yahoo leagues, though.
Blais racked up no fewer than three hits in each of his first five contests — topping out at six on three different occasions. His mix of physicality and scoring naturally made him a hot commodity in category leagues.
That’s pretty impressive considering his pre-season ranking on Yahoo was 690th.
While Blais’ offensive production slowed down before his injury (he didn’t grab a single point in his last six games), the hits didn’t. In fact, Blais recorded three or more hits in 16 of his first 20 games of the season.
Still owned in 13% of fantasy leagues as of Wednesday night, Ryan Reaves of the Vegas Golden Knights may be a solid replacement for owners of Blais in need to hits and willing to sell out for them. Reaves currently leads the NHL with 108 while Blais sits eighth with 70.
If you want some bump with a little more offensive upside, Cal Clutterbuck of the New York Islanders may be the way to go. The 32-year-old is tied for 14th in the NHL with 63 hits this season. Plus, two of his six points so far this year have been shorthanded. He’s only owned in 7% of Yahoo fantasy leagues.
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