Steve Wagner made his NHL debut Thursday night, playing more than 16 minutes in the St. Louis' loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. David Backes also played and assisted on one of the Blues' goals.
As far as St. Louis rookies went, all eyes were on 2006 No. 1 draft pick and ex-Gopher Erik Johnson, but coach Andy Murray made a point to including Wagner in the discussion, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
"Something that's been lost here is Wagner and his impact here with our team," Murray said. "He's a first-year guy, too. He's a little older, so he's got more experience. But he's going to kill penalties, he's going to play on the power-play. I just think at this point we can use (Wagner) in more situations (than Johnson) because he's got more experience."
Minnesota State hung giant banners in what is now the Alltel Center last season honoring its two NHL players, Tim Jackman and Grant Stevenson. Backes and Ryan Carter should be added this year, but the Mavericks have until their home opener on Nov. 9 to add Wagner to the wall.