On Thursday morning, the Blues called up left wing Mackenzie MacEachern from San Antonio. On Monday, they recalled forward Sammy Blais and on Jan. 3, they called up another forward, Zach Sanford.
Three forwards in a week, and none of them Jordan Kyrou, the team’s leading scorer.
“There’s always talk about it,” interim coach Craig Berube said Thursday, “but he’s doing really well down there and I think it’s the right place for him right now.”
Kyrou was last up with the Blues for two games in early December and was sent back to the AHL on Dec. 12. He has one goal and one assist in 11 games with the Blues and has 10 goals and 13 assists in 24 games with San Antonio.
MacEachern made his NHL debut on Thursday on a day that started with a 5:40 a.m. flight from San Antonio to St. Louis.
MacEachern learned after the San Antonio game on Wednesday night, a game in which he scored two goals, that he was getting called up. It was the end of a long road for MacEachern, who will turn 25 in March. He played three seasons at Michigan State and was in his third season in the Blues farm system after being the team’s third pick in the 2012 draft. He had been in the Blues system longer than anyone else without suiting up for an NHL game. (That distinction now belongs to Jake Walman.)
“I didn’t get much sleep,” he said. “I was pretty excited. I don’t sleep much after games because you’re all riled up, but adding the call-up, I was pretty excited. I was tossing and turning for a bit.”
MacEachern has nine goals and six assists in 31 games for San Antonio, but his game has shot up recently. He missed a month with an upper-body injury and in the seven games after he came back, he had five goals and three assists.
“I don’t want to say they whipped me into shape or something, but it’s funny how that works,” he said. “I had a month off there and I don’t know if I was running on adrenaline but things just seem to be clicking. … You don’t want to sit out — no player wants to be hurt — but it’s good to watch from above. I got a good month to watch from above and kind of get another opportunity to learn about the pro game. So I took it all in and took what I can.”
“He’s just a guy that’s been playing really well,” said Berube, who coached MacEachern in his first pro season with the Chicago Wolves. “He’ll be good on the fourth line, a guy we can use out there to get on the forecheck and be physical, get to the net, get pucks to the net. We like his size and his speed.”
Berube used MacEachern on a line with Blais and Ivan Barbashev, two players who were with him in Chicago for the 2016-17 season.
“He works really hard,” said Blais, who gave MacEachern guidance on preparing for his first NHL game. “He’s good on the forecheck. He’s a big boy, so he likes to play physical.”
As befits a big boy, MacEachern is wearing No. 62. “It’s like an offensive lineman number,” he said. “Hopefully I can earn a little better number.”
Pat Maroon was a healthy scratch for the second time in four games. Tyler Bozak (upper body) and Vince Dunn (lower body) were also scratches. Dunn skated in the morning but wasn’t well enough to play. … Chris Thorburn, who started the season with the Blues but is now with San Antonio, suffered an upper-body injury Saturday against Chicago and will be out three to four weeks. … It was Soccer Night at Enterprise Center and Carolyn Kindle Betz and Jim Kavanaugh of the St. Louis MLS bid dropped the first puck.