Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Blues have been dealt another tough injury blow, as the team announced Joel Edmundson will be out for the next six weeks with a broken forearm. Edmundson suffered the injury when blocking a Nail Yakupov shot last night according to Lou Korac of NHL.com. The Blues have recalled Chris Butler to fill the roster spot.

After an impressive playoff performance last year, and an injury to Jay Bouwmeester early on, Edmundson has become one of the most important pieces on the St. Louis blue line. Playing more minutes than anyone not named Alex Pietrangelo or Colton Parayko, the 24-year old has already matched his career-high with 15 points on the season and leads the team in blocked shots. A top penalty killer on one of the better units in the league, the Blues will have to find another option when down a man.

A six week timetable at this point puts Edmundson in jeopardy of missing the rest of the season. The Blues last game is on April 7th, eight weeks from now. Though he’ll likely be ready for the playoffs, any setbacks could mean he doesn’t get much of an opportunity to shake off the rust before jumping into the postseason. Butler, 31, isn’t a long-term answer despite nearly 400 games of NHL experience, which brings the trade deadline into question.

The Blues do have Jordan Schmaltz sitting in the minor leagues waiting for a chance, but as they fight off other teams for one of the Central Division playoff spots, someone with more experience could be needed. If the team feels like their depth has been threatened with this injury, they could go add a rental option to help them down the stretch. Unfortunately, the Blues don’t have a ton of cap space to work with even after putting Edmundson on long-term injured reserve, meaning they can’t make too many additions at the deadline without shipping salary out the other way.

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This article first appeared on Pro Hockey Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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