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Posted On Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 2:13 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Colaiacovo calls return to Blues 'too good to be true'

ST. LOUIS -- When the situation presented itself for Carlo Colaiacovo, it was a no-brainer for the veteran defenseman to go back to familiar territory.

Colaiacovo, 30, was on the ice for the morning skate Thursday with the St. Louis Blues after settling immigration paperwork, passing his physical and then making his one-year, $550,000 one-way contract official. Colaiacovo played for the Blues from 2008-12 after being acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs along with Alexander Steen for Lee Stempniak.

Jordan Leopold is sidelined two months with ligament damage to his right index finger, so the Blues felt compelled to bring in a veteran presence and one that they were familiar with rather than go with a younger American Hockey League player to fill the void as a seventh defenseman.

When things intensified Monday, Colaiacovo didn't waste any time deciding what to do.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.12.2013 / 8:09 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Coyotes' Vrbata, Hanzal late scratches vs. Blues

ST. LOUIS -- The Phoenix Coyotes will face the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday without veteran forwards Radim Vrbata (lower-body injury) and Martin Hanzal (illness).

Both were late scratches after coach Dave Tippett listed each as a game-time decision at the morning skate Tuesday.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.12.2013 / 2:46 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues agree to terms with Colaiacovo

ST. LOUIS -- Looking to add depth to their blue line after an injury to Jordan Leopold, the St. Louis Blues have turned to a familiar face.

The Blues announced they have agreed to terms with Carlo Colaiacovo on a one-year contract, pending a physical. Colaiacovo has been out of hockey since the Detroit Red Wings bought out his contract in the summer.

Colaiacovo, 30, played six games with the Red Wings last season after signing a two-year, $5 million contract. He missed most of the season with a shoulder injury.

Colaiacovo spent four seasons with the Blues (2008-12). He had 18 goals and 106 points in 259 games after coming to St. Louis along with Alexander Steen from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Lee Stempniak.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.09.2013 / 8:14 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Neal, Bennett back in Penguins lineup

ST. LOUIS -- Pittsburgh Penguins right wing James Neal returned to the lineup Saturday after a 15-game absence.

Neal, who had not played since opening night against the New Jersey Devils, was sidelined by an upper-body injury.

Right wing Beau Bennett also returned to play against the St. Louis Blues.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.09.2013 / 2:53 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues, Penguins each short a key defenseman

ST. LOUIS -- A battle of past Olympians and 2014 Sochi Olympics hopefuls representing a plethora of countries will happen Saturday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins face the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center.

But each team, a top-tier team in each conference, will be missing some key pieces when the puck drops.

Pittsburgh will be without defenseman Paul Martin (undisclosed), but they are expected to get right wing Beau Bennett (lower-body) back into the lineup.

"He's not going to be available for tonight's game, Paul Martin," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "That leaves us with six defensemen here."

The Blues (10-2-2) will insert defenseman Ian Cole into the lineup in place of veteran Jordan Leopold (hand), who blocked a shot in a 3-2 victory Thursday against the Calgary Flames.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock called Leopold's injury day-to-day, but a better prognosis won't be known until after the weekend.

"We'll know a little bit better on Monday how long he's going to be out for," Hitchcock said. "Right now it's just day to day and we'll see how he feels. Whether it's a week or two, we'll see how it feels. We'll know more on dates on Monday."

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Posted On Thursday, 11.07.2013 / 2:37 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flames, Blues dealing with injuries

ST. LOUIS -- The Calgary Flames' injury list continues to grow. Now it's Max Reinhart's turn to help fill the void.

Reinhart, recalled from the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League on Wednesday, will be in the lineup Thursday when the Flames continue a four-game trip against the St. Louis Blues.

Reinhart was recalled as a result of an MCL sprain sustained by Curtis Glencross on Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild. Glencross is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

Reinhart, who has 11 games of NHL experience, will slot into the lineup ahead of Sven Baertschi, who will be a healthy scratch for the third straight game.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.29.2013 / 2:22 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues get positive injury news on Stewart, Paajarvi

ST. LOUIS -- When St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock spoke in regards to two injuries that occurred during the team's 6-1 win Saturday against the Nashville Predators, he was concerned about them being long-term.

Two days later, the injury news wasn't as bad as initially thought and one of the players, Chris Stewart, will be in the lineup when the Blues (6-1-2) host the Winnipeg Jets (5-6-2) on Tuesday night at Scottrade Center.

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Posted On Saturday, 10.26.2013 / 2:19 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Hutton enjoying time as Predators starter

NASHVILLE -- When Carter Hutton signed with the Nashville Predators as an unrestricted free agent over the summer, all he wanted was a guaranteed chance to stay in the NHL.

Hutton spent last season with the Chicago Blackhawks, a team that solidified its goaltending this summer by signing Corey Crawford to a multi-year contract and bringing in veteran Nikolai Khabibulin to be the backup. Unfortunately for him, the Thunder Bay, Ontario native was the odd man out.

But Hutton, 27, never envisioned himself being the guy in Nashville these days. Not with Pekka Rinne firmly entrenched in the Predators' crease. But with Rinne's recent hip infection and consequential surgery that has sidelined Nashville's No. 1 goaltender for a minimum of four weeks, Hutton has been thrust into the starting role.

"You never want it to happen like this, especially to a guy like Pekka," said Hutton, who will make his third start and fourth appearance for Nashville on Saturday when the Predators host the St. Louis Blues. "He's been a really good friend to me since I've been here. Kind of took me under his wing. You don't wish that on anybody, but opportunities come in weird ways. That's why they brought me here. They thought they had faith in me and I believe in myself. When you get the chance, no matter how it comes, whether it was one start every 10 games or now playing a bunch, you've got to be ready for it and just take advantage of it."

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Posted On Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 3:16 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues' Morrow good to go, Paajarvi set to debut

CHICAGO -- After taking a hit from behind and getting a scare Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues left wing Brenden Morrow is well enough to play Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Morrow, 34, took a shot from the Sharks' Brent Burns that sent him crashing into the boards and he left for a stretch in the first period but returned to finish the game. Morrow sat out practice Wednesday in St. Louis but was on the ice Thursday morning and gave the thumbs-up after testing his neck area.

"Yeah, I was just out, moved around a little bit and made sure everything was working properly and where it should be," Morrow said. "I've had some neck problems and I've put in a lot of time [rehabilitating]. I'm trying to keep it healthy and it freaked me out a little bit and got a burner going. It's just letting it settle down. That nerve gets a little irritated at times and it was just about letting it settle down and I think it's run its course."

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 1:45 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Hertl will be in Sharks' lineup

ST. LOUIS -- San Jose Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl, who has been banged up in the last two games, will play Tuesday when the Sharks play against the St. Louis Blues (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2, RDS2).

Hertl was hit in the head by the Vancouver Canucks' Alexander Edler in the Sharks' 4-1 victory at Vancouver on Thursday. Edler was suspended three games by the NHL Department of Player Safety for the hit.

Hertl finished the game, but then got hit hard again by the Ottawa Senators' Clarke MacArthur in the Sharks' 3-2 victory Saturday.

But Hertl, the 17th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft who leads the team with seven goals and eight points, was in his regular spot Tuesday, skating on the top line with Joe Thornton and Brent Burns.

"I feel very good and I am ready tonight," Hertl said. "Two days [off] for my body and today now, I am ready to go for the game."

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Quote of the Day

I'm hoping Bob [Murray] didn't go out and get Dany Heatley just to get someone. I'm sure he's excited and motivated.

— Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on general manager Bob Murray's decision to sign Dany Heatley