Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE
Blueliner Ian Cole is in limbo at the moment, still officially a member of the Peoria Rivermen but being held out of game action by the parent St. Louis Blues in order to preclude possible injury with a short training camp and a lockout-shortened 48-game NHL season on the horizon.
1. LINK to Dave Eminian article at the Peoria Journal-Star website.
As of yesterday (Monday, Jan. 7), Ian Cole and Jaden Schwartz were the two players on Peoria's AHL roster most affected by the news that the NHL lockout had ended. The two former first-round picks (Cole 18th overall in 2007, Schwartz 14th overall in 2010) would have been in St. Louis from Day One if the NHL season had started in October like it was supposed to, but the lockout meant that the two youngsters -- both considered key pieces of the Blues' short- and long-term future -- found themselves in Peoria where they could, and did, play big roles as "go-to" players.
From the linked article:
The NHL is targeting Saturday as the opening of its training camps. The Blues and many other NHL teams held out selected players from AHL games on Sunday to assure they'll be healthy to join a 48-game season in which depth will be crucial and margin for error will be none.
Rivermen defenseman Ian Cole and winger Jaden Schwartz are in that holding pattern for now. They will continue to skate in practice with Peoria this week until the Blues have a camp schedule set. They did not play Sunday at San Antonio, and they won't play for Peoria this weekend.
...and now, just like that, both Cole and Schwartz have been promoted from Limbo to the Peary Blue Gates:
RIVS Ian Cole & Jaden Schwartz will leave PEO on Wed and join informal Blues skates in StL— Dave Eminian (@icetimecleve) January 9, 2013