According to a league source, The Blues are very close to finalizing a deal to open the 2009-10 season in Stockholm, Sweden.
The opponent for the Blues in this game...
The Detroit Red Wings.
This has been going about the rumor mill for a while, but it seems as if this is really going to happen. What an opportunity for the NHL, the Red Wings, and the Blues to be able to showcase the Sewdish talent on their respective squads back home where it all started for them. Guys like Zetterberg, Lidstrom, Holmstrom and Franzen for the Wings, and Blues' players like Berglund along with the possibility of Junland and Hjalmarsson get to go home and play in front of their native fans. When this becomes official, you would have to believe this game would sell out almost immediately.
Bravo to the NHL and commissioner Gary Bettman for putting this together.
A few tidbits on the Blues going into Thursday night's game against Edmonton...
The Blues have sent defensemen Steve Wagner and Andy Wozniewski back to Peoria.
It looks as if David Backes and TJ Oshie will be able to play Thursday night. Oshie was held out of Tuesday's game against Columbus after taking a shot off the foot in Detroit. Backes left the Columbus game after a vicious hip check to the knee by Columbus defensemen Jan Hejda. If the hit was a little lower on the leg, we could've seen Backes' season come to an abrupt end.
Speaking of that hit, I was surprised that no penalty was called on the play to Hejda. Hejda is a tough defenseman and plays 110% every game, but the way he took out Backes on that hit looked as if his sole intention was to injure Backes, not lay a clean check. If you're going to check a guy and take him out of the play, under no circumstances should you go after a guy's knee like that. Hip checks are seen few and far between in today's game, because of the chance of significant injury you can cause to a player doing so. Apparently, Hejda had a lapse in trying to put a good, clean check on Backes, and instead went for the knee. If the NHL does nothing about this, like suspending Hejda for a game or some type of fine, it'll go to show how the NHL is failing to protect its players from serious injury that a check like that can do to a player.
Finally, Chris Mason will start in goal for the Blues against Edmonton Thursday night.