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Wellwood hopes to remain with Blues

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He was wearing a No. 12 on his helmet and shooting righthanded, but that wasn't Adam Oates skating with the Blues this morning at St. Louis Mills. It was 27-year old Kyle Wellwood.

Wearing Oates' former Blues number, Wellwood was here from Russia with love. “Obviously I want to play for the Blues so I would be disappointed if I get picked up,” he said afterward.

The Blues signed Wellwood to a one-year contract, but the organization won't know until 11 a.m. Tuesday whether the agreement, as Cousin Vinnie might say, “holds water.” Every NHL team below the Blues in the standings has 24 hours to claim Wellwood off the waiver list, at which point he would become the property of that team.

Wellwood is hoping, and is fairly confident, he will still be here when the mornin' comes, and he could be in the Blues' power-play impaired lineup by tomorrow evening. The team will face the Los Angeles Kings at 7 p.m at Scottrade Center.

“My family is waiting to hear,” Wellwood said. “They're in Windsor, Ontario, and they want me to stay here because it's pretty accessible. It's only nine hours away and a cheap flight from Detroit, so they're hoping I stay in St. Louis.

Although they sound like famous last words from Marek Svatos, Wellwood added, “I don't think there is much to worry about. I think I'll still be in St. Louis.” The Blues signed Svatos on Dec. 28, only to lose him the next day to the Nashville Predators. 

Wellwood has not played since Jan. 2, when he was released by Atlant of the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound forward had five goals and eight points in 25 games in Russia after failing to land an NHL job last fall.

Last year, Wellwood had 14 goals and 11 assists for the Vancouver Canucks. He has 63 goals and 97 assists in 338 career NHL games, which includes four seasons with Toronto where he was teammates with Alex Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo.

“He's good,” Steen said. “He has quick hands, good with the puck in tight spaces. I hope we can keep him.”

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