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St. Louis Blues host first open practice of 2019-20 season

St. Louis Blues player Oskar Sundqvist participates in the first practice of the 2019-20 season open to the public at the Centene Community Ice Center in Maryland Heights Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. Photo by Sid Hastings

It took seven days of training camp, but the Blues finally had someone miss a day to injury.

Oskar Sundqvist, who left the practice ice early on Wednesday, walking to the dressing room at Centene Community Ice Center by himself with what coach Craig Berube said was a "tweak of something," didn't practice on Thursday as camp moved downtown to the Enterprise Center. Berube said it was an upper body injury and the absence was a precaution.

"He tweaked something the other day so we're just monitoring it so we'll give him another day and see how he feels tomorrow," Berube said.

Prior to that, every thing had gone smoothly. Robert Thomas joined the main group in practice a few days late after recovering from offseason wrist surgery, and Tyler Kaspick have been skating separately from the team has they recover from injuries they had at the start of camp: a kneecap opersation for Kyrou and a concussion suffered by Kaspick.

Berube said Kyrou would be skating on his own "for a bit," a move that most likely will take the young forward out of the running for being on the opening day roster. With opening day now less than two weeks away, it doesn't seem he can be ready in time. 

If that's the case, it pretty much wipes out any suspense on the Blues' roster, with 23 players vying for 23 spots, unless one of the depth forwards, like Jordan Nolan, play their way into a spot at the end of the roster or the team opts to have someone like Sammy Blais or Mackenzie MacEachern get in games in San Antonio rather than sit in the press box and watch in St. Louis.

Jordan Binnington was also absent from practice on Thursday, with Berube terming it a maintenance day. Binnington played two periods on Wednesday against Washington. "You've got to monitor these guys," Berube said. "They played a lot of hockey. They've got to listen to their bodies and we've got to listen to them."

Berube said that Robert Thomas is making good progress and will get in an exhibition game, which points to him being ready for the start of the season. "He gets better and better every day so we're not sure when we can get him a game here but we're going to start pushing him a little more and try to get him ready and hopefully he can get in a game soon," Berube said.


The Blues roster for the game in Winnipeg on Friday is:

Defensemen: Gunnarsson, Edmundson, Bouwmeester, Reinke, Pouliot, Mikkola

Forwards: Blais, Sanford, MacEachern, Walker, Kostin, Poganski, Joshua, Perron, Nolan, Vecchione, Jackson, Olsen, O'Reilly

Goalies: Allen, Husso

The roster has 13 forwards, so someone will sit out. This will be the third game in three for Ryan Olsen and Austin Poganski. Among returnees from last season, Alex Pietrangelo, Brayden Schenn, Alexander Steen and Robert Thomas have yet to get in a game. Also going 0 for 3 are Zach Nastasiuk, Jake Christeansen and Joey Laleggia