The impending lockout is going to be a boon for the AHL, with teams sending players like Alexander Burmistrov, Adam Henrique, and Jeff Skinner in to make the competition in the minor leagues tough. It's hard to go back down a level after being successful at the NHL, but right now teams don't have a choice. Their young players need to continue to develop, so spending time with AHL affiliates is a gimmie. The Blues are no exception to this, sending 24 players to the Peoria Rivermen to start the season with them.
Who's playing with the Rivs? To start with, recent arrival Vladimir Tarasenko. A shoe-in to make the Blues' roster should the season had started on time, Tank'll get a chance to develop at the AHL level. Yes, that could be seen as being a level below the KHL that he came from, but with the quality of players flooding the AHL, this year might be an exception to that. As Norm Sanders points out, he could still bolt back to Russia, but hopefully the temptation won't be as high as it could be under other circumstances.
Also heading to Peoria are Ian Cole, Jaden Schwartz,Jake Allen, Mike McKenna and Paul Karpowich, defensemen Taylor Chorney, Mark Cundari, Cade Fairchild, Scott Ford, Brett Ponich and David Shields and forwards Jay Barriball, Cody Beach, Adam Cracknell, Stefan Della Rovere, Evgeny Grachev, Andrew Murray, Anthony Nigro, Anthony Peluso, Tyler Shattock, Brett Sonne and Sebastian Vannstrom.