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BLUES FORWARD IVAN BARBASHEV LEAVES NHL BUBBLE

St. Louis Blues forward Ivan Barbashev has left the NHL bubble and boarded a flight back to St. Louis to be with his wife, Ksenia, as they anticipate the birth of their first child.

Barbashev, 24, will return to Edmonton, where his Blues teammates currently are, and will be required to quarantine from his hotel room for at least four days. In order for him to be able to leave his room and resume practicing and playing in games, he needs to receive four negative COVID-19 tests.

“We felt it was important for Ivan to be with us for the first two games of the restart and we were prepared for him leaving to go back to St. Louis to be with Ksenia,” said Blues general manager Doug Armstrong. “We wish them both the best and look forward to seeing Ivan back in Edmonton during the first round of the playoffs.”

Barbashev, who put up 26 points in 69 games this season, said it never crossed his mind to opt out for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“We didn’t even talk about it, (whether) to opt out or not,” said Barbashev. “It was actually really simple. I’m still 24, I have a full career ahead of me. After winning (the Cup) last year, I want to do it all over again. That feeling has been stuck in me for a long time and you just get even more hungry after winning.”



Barbashev has played in one game for the Blues since being in the bubble, which was a loss to the Colorado Avalanche. His teammates will play two more games in the round-robin tournament to determine who they will play once the other teams finish their five-game play-in series. In 25 playoff games for the Blues last season during their Cup Championship, he posted three goals and six points.


COLTON PANKIW
AUGUST 4, 2020  (16H08)
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