Blues bits: Backes nears return, Sobotka placed on IR

The St. Louis Blues don’t expect to get David Backes (concussion) or Vladimir Sobotka (upper body) back against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, but their captain seems like he’s closer to returning.

While Sobotka was placed on the IR on Friday and isn’t expected to join the Blues during their brief road trip, Backes did travel with the team and seemed upbeat to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

It doesn’t hurt that the 29-year-old is traveling with the Blues and participated in an optional skate today.

“There’s been a little improvement every day and that’s a positive sign,” Backes said. “We’ll see how things transpires here in the next little while. Hopefully I’ll be an ice hockey player again in the near future.”

Backes was banged up by what he described as a less-than-optimal hit by Colin Greening of the Ottawa Senators on Monday. The Blues lost to Ottawa that night and San Jose on Tuesday but bounced back against Montreal on Thursday.

Report: Ex-NHLer Aaron Ward arrested for assaulting female

Brad May, Kevin Hodson, Jiri Fischer, Aaron Ward
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Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for assault on a female, per WNCN.

Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.

Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Video: Hextall comments on AHL d-man Pyett, who was diagnosed with sarcoma in leg

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) Defenseman Logan Pyett of the Philadelphia Flyers’ AHL affiliate has been diagnosed with a form of cancer and will be out indefinitely.

The team said Friday the 27-year-old Canadian has a sarcoma in his upper leg. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall says the club offers “heartfelt thoughts and prayers.”

Pyett signed a one-year contract with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms after being at the Flyers’ training camp. He was selected by Detroit in the seventh round of the 2006 NHL entry draft. He signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers in 2012 and spent two seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League.