St. Louis Blues Ivan Barbashev Back Soon, But Return To Play Uncertain

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MARCH 06: Ivan Barbashev #49 of the St. Louis Blues (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MARCH 06: Ivan Barbashev #49 of the St. Louis Blues (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Blues know they will be getting a sparkplug player back quite soon, at least back in the bubble. Back on the ice is another story.

The St. Louis Blues got some good news a day before they start their playoff journey in 2020. They now know they will have an important player coming back very soon.

The only bad part is how soon is still up in the air. At least how soon back to the ice is up in the air.

Craig Berube reported that Ivan Barbashev will likely return to the Edmonton bubble on August 14. That is two days after the Blues first game against the Vancouver Canucks.

The problem is that is just re-entering the bubble. It could be just days or it could be a week or more.

Once a player returns to the bubble, they have to have four consecutive negative tests before a player can return to the ice. How long that takes is up in the air.

The team’s official Twitter said Barbashev must have four consecutive days of negative tests. However, we don’t know if the NHL has access to rapid testing or not. MLB’s bigger problem has been the lag between a test and the result.

So, four negative tests might not automatically mean four consecutive days.

Another sticking point is the openness of saying return to the ice. Obviously it would be up to the team and the player, but return to the ice could mean practice or game.

Maybe Craig Berube would put Barbashev right back into the lineup. He is a grinder and a big hitter, who also has some offensive skill. The Blues could use any potential goal scorer possible.

Or, four negative tests could just mean that’s when Barbashev can return to practice. Given the team’s schedule, there won’t be a ton of practice time available anyway.

Adding a further wrinkle is who the Blues will take out. The team has not played all that well as a unit, but Berube was quite taken with Troy Brouwer‘s performance.

Brouwer has played in two of the Blues three round-robin games. He averaged 10 minutes per game, featuring a lot on the penalty kill.

So, fans cannot just assume he will be the one taken out of the lineup.

Next. Blues fortunate the GM and owner keep fingers out of the pie. dark

You have to assume Barbashev will be put back in though. He is too dynamic a player to have sitting in the stands.

At least we have an estimate of when he will return to the bubble. After that, it is all about the testing.