Scottie Upshall’s season came to a premature end after he suffered a frightening injury against the Arizona Coyotes. The injury, a left kidney laceration, required hospitalization and marked the end of Upshall’s season in what was his first game back in the lineup since he suffered a knee injury in early March.
What’s next for the 34-year-old forward?
Upshall was signed by the Blues just before the season following a professional tryout with the Vancouver Canucks. Signed to provide some additional fourth-line depth, Upshall ended up skating in 63 games and had a fairly surprising offensive campaign with seven goals and 12 assists. He contributed far more than many would have predicted, particularly when he barely received a contract from the Blues in the first place.
Now, his time with the Blues might be over. His current one-year contract ends with the 2017-18 season. He fought to find time in the lineup between his knee injury and kidney laceration, and the competition for time within the Blues’ lineup will only increase as more young players compete for playing time.
Upshall is an outstanding source of veteran experience and work ethic on the lower lines, but the Blues will likely find themselves with enough young talent where they won’t need to offer him a new contract.
Then again, no one expected Upshall to return this season after the Blues allowed him to hit free agency. Stranger things have happened, but odds are Upshall will have to find a new team if he wants to continue skating in the NHL.