Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 1/18/13
DETROIT It's always weird to face a former team, even if you've done it before. Red Wings defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo spent more than five seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs before joining the St. Louis Blues for four seasons. Now he's in Detroit, and the Wings' first opponent of the shortened season is the Blues. "Its a lot to think about right now," Colaiacovo said. "Its going to be pretty emotional, the adrenalines going to be rushing pretty good. I had a great years there, have a lot of great memories. That city is hockey hungry right now. They tend to get some good crowds. Its a fun place to play." Colaiacovo said his favorite memory from his time in St. Louis was clinching a playoff spot in the last home game of the season his first year there, in the 2008-09 season. "We had an unbelievable run to make the playoffs and needed to win that last home game to get in," Colaiacovo recalled. "The crowd just blew the roof off. It was a really memorable moment for me. You can combine that with our series-clinching win against San Jose last year. That was the same kind of feeling. "I have nothing but great memories of that place, but Im in a happy place now, with a team that competes every year for the Stanley Cup. Im excited about that opportunity." Because the Wings and Blues are both in the Central Division, Colaiacovo also has lots of memories about playing against the Wings. "When I was there we always wanted to model ourselves after the way the Red Wings played," Colaiacovo said. "We were great division rivals from the time I got there. Heated battles. Every game was a tough game to play." Colaiacovo actually took a tour of Joe Louis Arena a few days ago to familiarize himself with his new home. "It was a real special feeling, sort of the tradition you feel," Colaiacovo said. "Once you walk in the room and you see all the great names on the wall, the Stanley Cups on the wall, it makes you feel that were here to win a Stanley Cup. "Ive always seen pictures of this room, but to finally be in it this is one of my favorite arenas to play in even as a visiting player. To actually be in the room and be part of the team, I feel pretty special about that. Im excited. Ive had nothing but a smile on my face since Ive been here. I just hope for better days ahead." Injuries and illnesses Mikael Samuelsson appears ready to go after nursing a sore groin this week, but Darren Helm will not play this weekend and most likely not the home opener Tuesday because of a sore back. "I can touch my toes," Helm said. "My motion is pretty much close to back. Its still a little stiff or sore when I come up, not too bad. Its still kind of aggravating a bit. The next step, we went fairly hard (Friday) and well see how it feels (Saturday)." Now Todd Bertuzzi is out, but not because of injury. He's not making the trip due to illness. "Hes sick," coach Mike Babcock said. "Theyre going to give him an IV or something and he probably join us (Saturday) or the next day. If not hell join us in Columbus." The good news is Patrick Eaves has been cleared to play in games for the first time since taking a puck to the head in a Nov. 26, 2011 game against the Nashville Predators. That doesn't necessarily mean he'll play Saturday. "Good thing about it is I dont have to tell you because I dont know and I still havent decided," Babcock said Friday. Knuble headed to Grand Rapids Mike Knuble, who has been skating with the Wings this week on a tryout basis, will not make the team. But he will still have a chance to get back to the NHL by going to Grand Rapids. "I think Knuble is going to sign a professional tryout contract so he can play there and be available for all NHL teams and not just our own in Grand Rapids and see if he can catch on with another NHL team," Babcock said. Knuble, who started his NHL career with the Wings, knew it was a longshot to make it. "Its been a good experience this week," Knuble said. "It was a chance to come in, get to know the guys and get skating again in a competitive environment. Try to be active and try to get on board with the season. Well see what happens here, well see what pans out and if this leads to anything." Knuble, a Toronto native who has played for the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals in addition to the Wings, said he'll always have fond memories of Joe Louis Arena. "I think the first time I played here in this building I might have been 12 years old playing in front of these empty seats in the Little Caesars Hockey League, so I played a lot of hockey through the course of the years in this building," Knuble said. "You never know, it may come back around again. But you keep going. It has a distinct feel when you walk in, a distinct smell, something that Ill always remember because Ive been in here a lot in my younger years. I think the coaches were very fair to me." Knuble, 40, made his NHL debut on a very auspicious night March 26, 1997, against the Colorado Avalanche. Wings fans will remember the significance of that night.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: NFL Legends (and Jose Canseco!) Have No Love For Captain America
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Romo expected to miss 6-10 weeks with broken bone in back

Kaepernick explains why he is protesting national anthem

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

NFL tries to reduce kick returns, promptly causes more kick returns

San Francisco Giants inching closer to a record they really don’t want

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Clint Dempsey undergoing testing for irregular heartbeat

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

Chargers would welcome Joey Bosa if he signed contract

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

Texas Tech using fake Twitter accounts to track players

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker