St. Louis Blues forward Patrik Berglund is expected to be out until December after having surgery to repair a dislocated left shoulder.
Berglund was injured during his offseason conditioning work in his native Sweden.
The Blues acquired forward Brayden Schenn in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers on June 23. He's played all three forwards spots in the NHL but is a natural center and could play there full-time now. That same day they acquired center Oskar Sundqvist in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"It certainly will move someone else in the middle," general manager Doug Armstrong told the Blues website. "Right now you can go with [Paul] Stastny, Schenn or have the option to go to [Vladimir] Sobotka back in there. [Ivan] Barbashev has played there. The young player we got from Pittsburgh, Oskar Sundqvist, he can play in there. There are some internal options and we'll explore those."
Video: The guys discuss the injury to Patrik Berglund
Armstrong said he'll also explore potential replacements for Berglund in free agency, which starts July 1, but said it's more likely the spot is filled from within.
"We're always looking to see if we can get creative maybe," he said. "We're talking to some potential free agents, but I don't want to get anyone's hopes up that there will be a lot of change to this roster."
It's the second time in three seasons Berglund will miss the start of a season because of a shoulder injury. He had surgery on his right shoulder in August 2015 and was out the first three months of the 2015-16 season.
Selected by the Blues with the No. 25 pick of the 2006 NHL Draft, Berglund has 296 points (151 goals, 145 assists) in 637 games. He had a personal NHL-best 23 goals this season.