Morrow gets to play for the Blues; updates on Paajarvi and Roy

News-DemocratOctober 4, 2013 

— Veteran winger Brenden Morrow got his work visa issues worked out and was in the opening night lineup Thursday for the St. Louis Blues.

At the Blues' morning skate Thursday, winger Magnus Paajarvi skated in Morrow's place on the second line with Derek Roy and Chris Stewart.

Morrow missed the morning skate, but was there when it counted for the opener.

Earlier, Hitchcock was hopeful of seeing Morrow in the opening night lineup.

"I don't know," Hitchcock said. "It's up to the government."

Morrow said Wednesday that he began the application process for a new work visa last May. He had no idea about the reason for the delay, but the U.S. Government shutdown this week may not have helped expedite things.

Paajarvi was ready to step in if needed, but was a healthy scratch. He was asked about a game plan in case he was in the lineup.

"Do my thing and try to do that 100 percent," Paajarvi said. "That's good speed offensively and defensively, create space for them and create space for myself and maybe get a goal or two. I want to do my thing and do it 100 percent.

"If the chemistry is there, it's there."

The system Paajarvi comes from in Edmonton is a vastly difference from Hitchcock's tight checking with speed and aggressiveness in St. Louis.

"It is a big difference," Paajarvi said. "You have to be professional though, it's not the first time I've had to change systems. You just have to acclimate yourself and I've had a whole training camp for that. Hopefully it's just instinct right now."

Roy draws $10K fine

Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy made his NHL coaching debut with the Colorado Avalanche a memorable one Wednesday. And not just because of a 6-1 win over Anaheim.

Roy became upset with the Ducks about a hit by Ben Lovejoy on Avalanche rookie Nathan McKinnon and then turned his anger toward Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau.

Roy, whose junior coaching days included plenty of intensity, began shoving the glass partition between himself and Boudreau on the bench until it started to lean over.

"(Boudreau) could have had a new middle name -- 'Pancake,''' Hitchcock said Thursday. "He could have got smooshed. If that thing goes any further Bruce has got the best weight loss program going. Wow."

Hitchcock hopes that type of over-the-top behavior won't continue.

"That's junior hockey, it's got no place in our game," Hitchcock said. "You can't be pushing barriers down or whatever. It's just got no place in our game. I've been involved in some of those instances a long, long time ago and they are really scary."

Around the rink

*Making his debut for the Predators on Thursday was rookie defenseman Seth Jones, the son of former Murray State and NBA basketball player Popeye Jones. Seth Jones was the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NHL draft.

*Millstadt resident Tom Calhoun was in his familiar seat at center ice and is handling Blues public address announcer duties for another season.

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, or on Twitter @NormSanders

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