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Offseason changes give Blues new lines for Training Camp

Additions of Krug, Hoffman and Clifford provide Berube with variety of possibilities

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

A lot has changed in the four months since the St. Louis Blues were last on the ice for a game.

Torey Krug and Kyle Clifford joined the club via free agency and Mike Hoffman signed as a tryout for Training Camp, Ryan O'Reilly was named captain after Alex Pietrangelo signed with the Vegas Golden Knights and Alexander Steen retired due to an injury.

With all the changes, the line combinations Blues Head Coach Craig Berube would be able to dream up were endless.

But this week, we finally got a look at some possible combinations.

Here are the lines Berube has used in the first days of camp:

Forwards

Brayden Schenn - Ryan O'Reilly - David Perron
Jaden Schwartz - Robert Thomas - Mike Hoffman
Zach Sanford - Tyler Bozak - Jordan Kyrou
Kyle Clifford - Ivan Barbashev - Oskar Sundqvist
Mackenzie MacEachern - Jacob de la Rose - Sammy Blais
Curtis McKenzie - Nathan Walker - Austin Poganski
Jake Neighbours - Tanner Kaspick - Tyler Tucker
Nolan Stevens - Hugh McGing - Sam Anas

Defense

Torey Krug - Colton Parayko
Marco Scandella - Justin Faulk
Vince Dunn - Robert Bortuzzo
Carl Gunnarsson - Scott Perunovich
Jake Walman - Mitch Reinke
Niko Mikkola - Steve Santini

Goalies

Jordan Binnington
Ville Husso
Jon Gillies
Joel Hofer

Regarding the Top 6 forwards, one of Berube's biggest moves would seem to be shifting Robert Thomas up to the second line.

"We want to see if (Thomas) is ready to jump into the No. 2 hole and do a good job there," Berube said. "For me, you've got a shooter on there and one of our hardest-working players that makes every line better in Schwartzy."

In addition, Jordan Kyrou appears to be getting a look on a third line with Zach Sanford and and Tyler Bozak, while newcomer Kyle Clifford slots onto the wing alongside Ivan Barbashev and Oskar Sundqvist.

Defensively, Torey Krug and Colton Parayko make up the top pairing.

"They both skate really well, and you've got Krug who is a real good puck mover and you've got Parayko who defends as well as any defenseman in the National Hockey League," Berube said. "They'll kill a lot of plays with their feet and they can be dangerous the other way. In the offensive zone, they both shoot the puck a ton. There will be opportunities to do things offensively."

"Craig wants to take a look at different things, spreading out the scoring," General Manager Doug Armstrong said of the tweaked line combinations. "Because it's the first day of Training Camp, I don't think it's set in stone for 56 games… We're excited to be back on the ice, we like the complement of players we have. We're a little bit different, but the goal is the same."

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