Blues' Johnson out most of season
Blues defenseman Erik Johnson has a torn ACL in his right knee and will undergo surgery in a couple of weeks, a source has told the Post-Dispatch.I had a feeling this might be coming.
Johnson, 20, is expected to be sidelined six to nine months after injuring his knee in a golf-cart incident last week at the Lake of the Ozarks.
A big, big loss for a team already expected to struggle this season. Johnson only played an average of 18 minutes a game last season, but was coddled a bit early on, and it's quite possible he would have played 23 or 24 minutes a night in his second season.
Now I'd be surprised to see him play at all.
St. Louis, which has some cap room to play with, instantly becomes a much bigger player in the Mathieu Schneider sweepstakes. Johnson was the team's only real option to quarterback the power play, and even then, this was a group that really struggled last season with the man advantage.
Unless the Blues acquire a real puck-mover on the back end, this team has zero chance of making the playoffs. And I've already been hearing the predictions that Andy Murray is the No. 1 name on the coaching hot seat heading into the season.
A six-month recovery would mean Johnson can come back by late March, but by then, what's the point? St. Louis has to be thinking long-term on this one, and with multiple tears involved, there's certainly the potential for knee problems down the line.
Ugly all around.
UPDATE This probably also increases the chances of youngster Alex Pietrangelo sticking with the big club. He's picked up two assists so far in the preseason game tonight.
Jackman - Pietrangelo
Brewer - McKee
Woywitka - Weaver
Wozniewski - Wagner
UPDATE And here's John Davidson's comments on Johnson's injury.