Blues’ Barbashev heads back to St. Louis for birth of first child

Ivan Barbashev and his wife, Ksenia, are about to become parents. The Blues forward exited the Edmonton bubble and hopped on a flight back to St. Louis for the birth of the couple’s first child.

That means two things for Barbashev:

• Before he can re-join the team he must quarantine in his Edmonton hotel room for at least four days. He cannot practice or play during that time.

• While in quarantine, he will need to test negative for COVID-19 four times before he can exit.

The Blues have played one round-robin game so far — a 2-1 loss to the Avalanche on Sunday. St. Louis finishes up their three-game schedule with games against the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday (6:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) and Sunday against the Dallas Stars.

When the NHL and NHLPA finalized the Return to Play plans, Barbashev knew this was a possibility. But even though he’ll miss a few days, this was always the plan for the family.

“We didn’t even talk about it, [whether] to opt out or not,” Barbashev said via the Blues. “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.”

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Western Conference round-robin schedule

Wednesday, Aug. 5: Avalanche vs. Stars, 6:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Thursday, Aug. 6: Golden Knights vs. Blues, 6:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Saturday, Aug. 8: Golden Knights vs. Avalanche, TBD
Sunday, Aug. 9: Stars vs. Blues, TBD

MORE:
2020 NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedule

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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