Alex Steen Likely to Return Saturday, January 14th
UPDATE: Norm Sanders tweets that Steen will NOT be ready to play on Saturday.
Lou Korac reports that Alex Steen might make his return to action on Saturday, January 14th against the Minnesota Wild. In Korac’s report, coach Ken Hitchcock states that Steen feels fine but the coaching staff wants him to have a full practice with the team before jumping back into NHL action.
The Blues are facing a good, yet noteworthy problem. The Blues have more healthy bodies than they have room for at the NHL level and with the return of Alex Steen, will have to once again shuffle their lines around. Steen’s return is obviously a huge positive for the Blues but it begs the question – how will his return impact some of the chemistry we have seen to date? We can hope that it won’t have any negative impact but it is at least a thought to ponder.
Then we come to the topic of health. Currently the Blues have nearly every skater healthy (knock on wood). With Andy McDonald closing in on a return, the Blues have a problem every team in the NHL would love to have – more depth than they know what to do with. Granted, there is bound to be additional injuries in the near future – this is the NHL after all. This problem stretches beyond the forwards as when Kent Huskins and Kris Russell make their returns the Blues will suddenly need to decide if they want to carry six defensemen or seven.
The first thought that comes to mind when discussing this much depth is a controversial one – trade. Are the Blues in a position where the wise move would be to make a deal? This is a topic I’ve debated. I’d hate to see the Blues be too hasty and make a deal only to have injuries creep up and have their depth stretched due to a trade they made in January. At the same time, with the deadline sitting in February, you don’t want to have an opportunity to improve pass you by.
Something to think about Blues fans. If the team’s style of play and success continues, don’t be surprised to see them make a move near the deadline – this time as a buyer rather than a seller like we saw in 2010-11.