Blues agree to terms with Colaiacovo

News-DemocratNovember 12, 2013 

— Looking to bolster their veteran depth on defense following an injury to Jordan Leopold, the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday signed Carlo Colaiacovo to a one-year deal pending a physical.

The contract is a one-way deal that will pay Colaiacovo $550,000, pro-rated over the rest of the season.

Leopold is expected to miss eight weeks after undergoing hand surgery and his spot is being filled by former first-round draft pick Ian Cole.

Colaiacovo played with the Blues from 2008 to 2012, scoring 18 goals and 88 points in 259 games. He signed a two-year, $5 million deal with Detroit prior to last season, but was bought out of that contract after missing 33 games in 2013 with a shoulder injury.

The 30-year-old defenseman had one assist in six games with Detroit last season. He also played in nine playoff games, again registering one assist.

Colaiacovo's best NHL season was in 2009-10, when he had seven goals and 32 points in 67 games with the Blues.

Man of steal

Blues winger Jaden Schwartz had five steals Saturday against Pittsburgh, the most by a Blue since Barret Jackman had six against Dallas on April 4, 2009.

Honoring the troops

The Blues held their Salute to Military night Tuesday with an emotional ceremonial puck drop before the game featuring U.S. Marine Cpl. Justin McLoud.

McLoud, who lost both legs and his left arm to an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving overseas, was wheeled onto the ice by Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

Wearing a camouflage Blues jersey similar to one worn by the players during warmups, McLoud dropped the puck between Blues captain David Backes and Phoenix captain Shane Doan.

Backes and Doan then gave their sticks to McLoud, with Backes also escorting him off the ice by pushing his wheelchair to the exit.

Welcome wagon

Perhaps because they were once the "young guys" themselves, Blues veterans do their best to quickly assimilate rookies and youngsters into the dressing room.

"Coming in I didn't really know a whole lot of the guys," said 21-year-old Blues winger Jaden Schwartz, who joined the team straight out of college. " I didn't know what the NHL life was like and they taught me a lot. Each guy in a different way has helped me out or given me pointers that's allowed me to have more confidence to come in and play my game."

Schwartz lived with Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo when he first arrived, though at 23 Pietrangelo is only two years older.

Schwartz said the example set by Blues veterans helped his transition to the league immensely.

"The way Steener (Alexander Steen) works hard and carries himself is something that I've looked up to, and Backes, (T.J.) Oshie, different guys," Schwartz said. "You learn a lot just by watching them. Whether they know they're helping you or not, they are."

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

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