As another Blues camp opens, the number of remaining ’19 Cup vets dwindles

Jim Thomas

For the Blues, Thursday was hockey’s version of the first day of school. Some have been in class longer than others.

“That’s what me and ‘Bob-o’ were talking about,” Brayden Schenn said.

Training camp opened Thursday for the Blues at Centene Community Ice Center. For defenseman Robert Bortuzzo (aka Bob-o), this marks his 15th NHL camp. For Schenn, it’s his 13th. Unlike their school days, there’s a forever-changing cast of “schoolmates” every year.

For the first time in five years, there was no David Perron and no Tyler Bozak on the ice Thursday. Perron signed with the Detroit Red Wings in free agency; Bozak was not offered a contract by the Blues as an unrestricted free agent.

For those scoring at home, that leaves only eight players from the Stanley Cup championship team of 2019: Bortuzzo, Schenn, Ivan Barbashev, Jordan Binnington, Ryan O’Reilly, Colton Parayko, Vladimir Tarasenko and Robert Thomas.

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(Jordan Kyrou isn’t included on the list because he spent the last half of that season with the San Antonio Rampage before suffering a season-ending knee injury. He played in only 16 early-season games with the Blues. His name isn’t on the Cup and he didn’t get a Cup day.)

So eight. That’s it. Make no mistake, the returning Cup veterans have noticed that their numbers are dwindling.

“It’s only four years now, right?” Schenn said. “A lot of missing pieces from that team.…

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