The Blues will need to make a decision on Schmaltz once Robert Bortuzzo (lower body) returns from injured reserve. Since Carl Gunnarsson (hip) just returned from non-roster, injured reserve, the Blues have seven healthy defensemen. When Bortuzzo returns, which could be as early as Saturday against the Wild, there will be eight. The Blues could keep just 13 forwards, but that would limit their flexibility when injuries arise. Therefore, the Blues will likely shed weight on the blue line, and Schmaltz, who was their 2012 first-round pick, is the only one that wasn't in the seven-man bunch last year. He has one assist and is averaging 12:47 through eight games, so he's not a lock to stay on the roster.
Schmaltz made the Blues' 23-man roster. Schmaltz was the Blues' 2012 first-round pick but has played just 22 games with the big club, notching three assists. He's being kept with the Blues right now since there's injury concerns on top of the depth chart on top of Robert Bortuzzo's one-game suspension, and it's unclear if he'll suit up Thursday against the Jets. Most importantly, Schmaltz is no longer waiver exempt. Therefore, the Blues would need to send him to waivers in order to assign him to AHL San Antonio, so they'll look to keep him with the big club for as long as possible.
Schmaltz recorded a short-handed goal and a minus-2 rating in 21:45 of ice time during Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Capitals. Schmaltz can only hope the marker is enough to get him off the roster bubble and into the Blues' opening night lineup. The 24-year-old blueliner has been knocking on the door of the NHL ranks for a couple of years now and he will know fairly soon if he has made the cut, but has little fantasy value until he can carve out a meaningful role with the big club.
Schmaltz agreed to terms on a two-year contract with St. Louis on Wednesday. With the Blues just days away from the start of training camp, Schmaltz finally put pen to paper on a new contract. The deal is two-way for 2018-19 before converting to a one-way in the second year and comes in at just $700,000 annually. Whether the blueliner secures a spot on the Opening Night roster against Winnipeg on Oct. 4 likely won't be determined until closer to the end of camp.
Schmaltz, who is a restricted free agent, remains unsigned with training camp three weeks away. Schmaltz is likely seeking a one-way contract even though he'll spend most of 2018-19 with AHL San Antonio, barring a slew of injuries. The 2012 first-round pick could log NHL time to kick off the campaign, however, since Jay Bouwmeester (hip) and Carl Gunnarsson (knee) are both coming off season-ending surgeries. The Blues need to keep Schmaltz around, too, as four of their top seven defensemen will hit free agency next summer.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
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