(HockeySTL)-- The Blues have further trimmed their roster, subtracting three more players from roster contention.
Peter Mueller, Colin Fraser and Cody Beach have all been assigned to the Blues’ AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves, the club announced on Sunday. All three players were made aware of the decision following the Blues’ final preseason game on Saturday, according to reports.
With the regular season nearing, the Blues are getting down to the nitty-gritty when it comes to roster decisions. NHL rosters have to be finalized by 5:00 p.m. CT Tuesday, and the Blues have four more cuts to make before they get to the 23-man roster limit. However, head coach Ken Hitchcock is not in a hurry to make the final few decisions.
“We are not in such a big hurry to get to 23,” Hitchcock said. “We have lots of time. We don’t have to make all of the decisions until Tuesday.”
Muller, who was believed to be one of the team’s many on-the-bubble forwards at the beginning of camp, along with Fraser, cleared waivers this past week, meaning they can go straight to Chicago. Beach was recalled by the Blues on Friday as a precaution for Saturday’s game against the Wild, which had the possibility of turning ugly after a penalty-riddled preseason game between the two teams on Thursday.
Each of the players sent to Chicago was in Saturday’s lineup and presented with a last-ditch effort to make a case for their keeping.
“(It was) a big game for a lot of people,” Hitchcock said. “It was an evaluation for 10-15 forwards.”
One player who had a very real possibility of being a cut, Robby Fabbri, is still with the team, further adding to the evidence that the 18-year-old is making the decision tough for the Blues coaching staff.
“We have to look at it two ways,” Hitchcock said. “He’s had a great camp and has been a great player. But the question is: when do you turn him pro? What’s best for him? We have to be a little bit unselfish here and consider what is best for Robby. Those are the talks that we have to start having.”
Hitchcock and the coaching staff have been weighing both sides of the Fabbri situation for some time but a decision has to be made within the next 48 hours. The Blues could keep Fabbri on the roster for a nine-game tryout, but they would have to risk losing another player to waivers in order to clear a spot for Fabbri. They also have to determine if sending Fabbri back to the OHL to continue his development is the all-around better option. It appears that direction is the one towards which the Blues are leaning.
“He’s proven that he’s more than competitive, but then there are other factors that come into play,” said Hitchcock. “It’s a long season; it’s a big-man’s game. We have to look out for his career. He’s proven he can help us tomorrow, today. But we have to look out for his career.”
Fabbri was held out of Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury, which hampered his possibilities of making the team, but likely won’t factor in too much to the team’s final decision.
Below are the remaining players: