If you were hoping to see Sammy Blais or Ivan Barbashev skating with the Blues, you’re out of luck for the foreseeable future. The Blues sent the duo down to the AHL this weekend, making it clear that their play up at the NHL level simply wasn’t good enough.
When asked about the roster change, head coach Mike Yeo said he plans to keep the duo in the AHL for the immediate future.
The decision to move Blais and Barbashev down is the correct one.
Coming off of a really strong 30-game, 12-point rookie season, Barbashev has faded into obscurity. In six games in 2017-18, Barbashev has zero points and just three shots. He has looked lost on the ice, struggling to make any kind of impact on the overall play. If you didn’t know better, you’d think the Barbashev of this season was a totally different player than the Barbashev from last season. It’s been pretty disappointing to watch his game fall of so sharply.
Meanwhile, Blais might have been a touch better than Barbashev, but he too has struggled to get his footing in the NHL. In four games, he had one point and three shots.
When looking at their play as a whole, both players would benefit from building up their game down in the AHL. Both could have strong NHL careers, but it may take some more time before either player is ready to come back up.