The Blues have recalled defenseman Petteri Lindbohm from Chicago, the club announced prior to its Saturday game.
With defenseman Carl Gunnarsson unready to return to the lineup this weekend, the Blues elected to call up Lindbohm as insurance for Saturday and Sunday’s back-to-back games. Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock said in an interview posted on the Blues website that there is a really good chance the 21-year-old slots into the lineup on Sunday against Anaheim.
Should Lindbohm indeed play this weekend, he would likely replace Jordan Leopold, who appears to also be the odd man out when Gunnarsson returns.
The Blues were originally hopeful that Gunnarsson would play on the three-game road trip but the defenseman needs more time to get back into game shape following his offseason hip surgery. With just six healthy defensemen on the trip, the addition of Lindbohm is precautionary.
The young defenseman has performed well with the Wolves, tallying a goal and an assist in three games. He also has a plus-3 rating, which is the Wolves’ current-roster-best. He also performed well in the Blues’ training camp, sticking on the roster until the final round of cuts was made.
“He just got better and better as camp went on,” said Blues general manager Doug Armstrong.
Lindbohm played in four of the Blues’ seven preseason games, but if he makes his NHL debut this weekend, it will have an entirely different feel. The coaching staff, however, was surprised and impressed enough with how Lindbohm showcased in camp to possibly give him a hefty task against the Ducks.
"Talk about coming from left field,” Hitchcock said of Lindbohm in camp. “Nobody knew anything about him. He's got size, he's got a bomb for a shot, he's really competitive as heck.
Once Gunnarsson is comfortable enough to return to the lineup, Lindbohm is likely to be sent back to the AHL. While he has been given full clearance by doctors, Gunnarsson still isn’t ready to play; therefore he remains a non-roster player.
The Blues, who entered the season with 22 players on their NHL roster, now have 23 with the addition of Lindbohm. Once Gunnarsson make his Blues debut – which could be as early as Thursday—the club will have to subtract a player from their roster.
After they play Anaheim on Sunday, the Blues will have three days off before their next game.