(HockeyStL) -- Nearly four months removed from another disappointing playoff departure, the St. Louis Blues were officially back in action on Thursday.
The club held its first formal practice of training camp at the Scottrade Center. The camp, which includes 52 players, was split into two afternoon practices.
The first practice, which began at noon, featured the likes of veteran players David Backes and Alexander Steen along with fresh faces including Ty Rattie, who was paired alongside the two veterans throughout the early practice.
“Pretty cool. The captain of the Blues and one of the better players with the Blues, so I had a lot of fun,” Rattie said after practice. “I’m just out there soaking it all up and looking at their game and trying to add on to my game to become a better player.”
Keeping in mind that it was the first practice, the club placed newcomer Magnus Paajarvi, who was acquired in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers for David Perron, with fellow Swede Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Tarasenko. Last year’s CPR line was split with Keith Aucoin, an offseason free-agent signing, next to Adam Cracknell and Chris Porter.
As expected, Kevin Shattenkirk slid in place of the absent Alex Pietrangelo, who is currently in a contract holdout, to play alongside Jay Bouwmeester.
“That’s a big void to fill,” Shattenkirk said. “It’s an opportunity for me to step up to that role that he plays and try to shine and help the team out and make a big impact.”
The Blues will hold on-ice practice at the same times at the Scottrade Center on Friday.