T.J. Hensick Recalled from Peoria
The St. Louis Blues have recalled T.J. Hensick from the Peoria Rivermen following the news that Jamie Langenbrunner will miss at least the next four weeks with a broken foot. Back on January 18th, I discussed whether or not Hensick would see any NHL time this year. The answer, a surprising yet clear, yes.
Hensick deserves this opportunity. In 53 AHL games with the Rivermen this year, he has scored 19 goals and added 45 assists for a total of 64 points. His 64 points place him third in the AHL in total scoring. The Blues have struggled to find their offense, specifically on the road, which makes the decision to bring Hensick up pretty logical.
Still, I found myself a bit surprised when I read it was Hensick recalled. Previously, the Blues have summoned Brett Sterling, Evgeny Grachev or Adam Cracknell when they have had to replace an injured starter. Repeatedly, Hensick was passed over despite having some of the best stats not only on the Rivermen but in the entire AHL.
For Hensick, this is the opportunity he has been looking for. His last extended appearance in the NHL came with the Avalanche back in 2008-09. Since then Hensick has skated in just 20 NHL games, scoring two goals while adding four assists. Hensick has consistently produced at the AHL level but has struggled to make a major impact at the NHL level. To be fair, it’s tough to jump from the AHL to the NHL during the middle of the year. It’s understandable that it might take time to find a groove – time that Hensick has never really been given.
Unfortunately, despite adding a few points here and there, Hensick has looked a bit lost on the ice when he has been called up. He would fade out of the play to the extent that unless you were focusing strictly on him you might forget he was even in the lineup. Now Hensick has another chance to prove himself and come up big when the Blues could use him the most. Let’s all hope he succeeds.