Saturday, September 15, 2012

Blues assign 24 players to Peoria

By Andrew Allsman| Posted: September 15th, 2012| Contact  |

There is not much optimism left for avoiding the third lockout since Gary Bettman took the job as NHL Commissioner in 1993. Teams and players alike are preparing for a work stoppage, effective 11:59 p.m. ET on Saturday. Already teams are shipping the eligible players to their American Hockey League affiliates, and today the Blues did the same.

The Note assigned a total of 27 players to their respective leagues on Friday. Some to the American Hockey League, others to junior, and European hockey teams. Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, and Ian Cole, all of whom had a solid chance at making the NHL team, have been assigned to Peoria along with three goaltenders, six other defensemen, and 12 other forwards. Forward Ty Rattie will return to the Portland Winterhawks (Western Hockey League), goaltender Jordan Binnington to the Owen Sound Attack (Ontario Hockey League), and defenseman Jani Hakanpaa will play in Finland for the Espoo Blues.

On Saturday the Blues announced that forward T.J. Hensick had been assigned to Peoria as well.

Adam Cracknell, Brett Sonne, Scott Ford, Mike McKenna, Andrew Murray, and Anthony Peluso were all required to clear waivers, and all did so successfully. Under the agreement between the NHLPA and the NHL, players who are subject to clearing waivers and did so before Saturday, do not have to go through re-entry waivers to return to the NHL. This only applies if the players are recalled three days before the play starts.

Vladimir Tarasenko highlights the list of Blues headed to Peoria, however, it remains to be seen if he will play any games in the AHL, or if he will return to Russia.

“We’re going to talk about that", said Armstrong. "There are advantages to both really. There’s the advantage of staying in North America and playing with some of the players he may play with and if we don’t start on time some of those players may go down to Peoria. He also will learn the culture not only on the ice but off the ice as well.  With going home, he has developed over there and has become a very good player over there so I think it is going to be a win-win. Whatever we jointly decide is best for him is the way we are going to go.”

The KHL would likely have more talent than the AHL, but the Blues would like him to get accustomed to North American hockey. Expect a decision soon from the Blues and Tarasenko, as he wanted to wait until the lockout was official to determine his plans.

A lockout is scheduled for Saturday at 11:59 p.m. ET, and the two sides remain far apart. Training camp was scheduled to begin on Sept. 21, but unless a deal is reached in the near future, it will be cancelled.

The Blues regular season is scheduled to start on Thursday, October 11 against the Colorado Avalanche. It remains to be seen if a deal will be done in time for that game.

The complete list of players assigned:


Jake Allen
Paul Karpowich 
Mike McKenna 


Taylor Chorney
Ian Cole
Mark Cundari
Cade Fairchild 
Scott Ford
Brett Ponich 
David Shields 


Jay Barriball
Cody Beach 
Adam Cracknell
Stefan Della Rovere
Evgeny Grachev
Philip McRae
Andrew Murray
Anthony Nigro
Anthony Peluso
Jaden Schwartz
Tyler Shattock
Brett Sonne
Vladimir Tarasenko
Sebastian Vannstrom
T.J. Hensick