(HockeySTL) -- With captain David Backes’ return seemingly looming prior to Wednesday’s Game 4, the news of Brenden Morrow being sidelined for the rest of the first-round series was somewhat overlooked.
The veteran winger was declared unavailable for the rest of the series against Chicago by head coach Ken Hitchcock in his morning press conference on Wednesday. The Blues were looking forward to having Morrow’s experience present on the ice against the defending champions.
Blues general manager Doug Armstrong signed Morrow at the beginning of the regular-season to provide a veteran persona on and off the ice, but also because of Morrow's past success.
A veteran of 14 NHL seasons, Morrow has played 94 career playoff games, and has accumulated 46 points (19 goals, 27 assists). His experience was something Hitchcock talked about several times going into the series, but the coach said Morrow had to be healthy enough to play within the system.
“The disappointing part for us is Morrow is out for the series,” said Hitchcock. “He’s not going to be able to play, so that impacts a lot of things.”
It appears that Morrow’s foot injury, which he sustained on Apr. 10 after blocking a shot in a practice, never fully healed and the forward is no longer able to play through the pain.
The forward was not expected to make an appearance at all in the series, but he did play in two of the first four games, including the series opener, which was seven days after sustaining the injury.
Morrow was wearing a boot on his foot just days before the opening series started, but said prior to the Blues’ first game against the Blackhawks that he could not worsen his injury by playing. However, it appears the pain may have become too substantial to fight through.
With Morrow out, Derek Roy will be a regular in the lineup. Hitchcock indicated that Roy was also battling an injury following Game 3, but that he had recovered enough to play. He was in the lineup on Wednesday.
It is unknown if Morrow would be available for a second-round series if the Blues advance that far.