Long-term injuries to St. Louis Blues forwards Jaden Schwartz (broken ankle), Paul Stastny (broken foot) and Patrik Berglund (shoulder surgery) have made GM Doug Armstrong’s job a little difficult this past week. Armstrong is calling a pair of aged veterans to try to help.
Martin Havlat and Dainius Zubrus were in St. Louis for their first Blues’ practice Wednesday. They basically have a ten-day tryout that could lead to an NHL contract. Havlat is 34. Zubrus is 37.
Havlat had five goals and 14 points in 40 games with the New Jersey Devils last season. In 14 NHL seasons with the Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks and Devils, Havlat has 241 goals and 593 points in 788 games. He went to training camp with the Florida Panthers and was released.
Zubrus had four goals and 10 points in 74 games with the Devils last season. In 18 seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres and Devils, he has 225 goals and 584 points in 1,243 games.
Havlat and Zubrus will work out with the Blues until a decision is made on whether to sign them. That has to happen by Nov. 6. St. Louis also signed forward Scott Gomez, who also played with the Devils last season. Zubrus and Gomez were teammates of now Blues assistant GM Martin Brodeur who was New Jersey’s longtime goaltender.
“He just asked me how I’m doing and if I’d be willing to come in and I said, ‘Of course,'” Zubrus said. “I still feel like I’m an NHL player; I want to play in the NHL. I kind of waited for some options, maybe go to Europe and things like that, but in my head, it was NHL or nothing.
The Blues play the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.