(HockeySTL)-- Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will be listed as a scratch Sunday against Winnipeg, putting an end to his impressive ‘Ironman’ streak.
Subsequently, St. Louis native Chris Butler will be making his Blues debut.
A lower-body injury is to blame for snapping Bouwmeester’s consecutive games streak, which he carried across three teams and through two trades. The defenseman hadn’t been scratched in an NHL game since the 2003-04 season, making his games played streak the longest in professional sports.
The lower-body “ailment” forced Bouwmeester, 31, out of Saturday’s 3-2 win over Ottawa late in the third period. Bouwmeester appeared to sustain the injury on a play at the blue line. The defenseman was seen speeding to the bench following the play in the offensive zone. He went back to the Blues’ locker room and did not return.
The Blues gave few details, but according to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Bouwmeester was seen walking unassisted from the locker room following the game. Rutherford tweeted that no discomfort was noticeable.
Before being sidelined on Sunday, Bouwmeester hadn’t missed a game in any of his last nine seasons. The veteran had played in 749 consecutive games, 12 of them being postseason matchups, and had played in all 82 games in eight seasons since the streak began. Only regular season games count toward the NHL streak, so only 737 of the 749 games will be recorded.
The defenseman only played in 47 of the 48 games in the 2013 lockout-shortened season due to a midseason trade between St. Louis and Calgary. The Flames had played one less game than the Blues at the time of the deal.
Overall, Bouwmeester has played in 866 NHL games during his 12-year NHL career.
The NHL’s new ‘Ironman’ leader is Anaheim winger Andrew Cogliano, who has suited up for 561 consecutive games.