Russian President Vladimir Putin next to Blues forward Ivan Barbashev.

(USA Today Images)

Blues Insider: Ivan Barbashev Was 'Leaking Sweat' When He Met Vladimir Putin

The Blues 22-year-old forward was even invited to a private meeting by the Russian President.

October 30, 2018 - 12:46 pm

Each week our St. Louis Blues Insider Amy Marxkors brings fans inside the locker room with reports of the players' on and off-the-ice activities:

Barbashev Meets Putin 

Not many people have had the chance to say they share a room with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin – by choice. But Blues forward Ivan Barbashev has.

The Moscow native was the captian the Russian squad at a recent World Junior Championships.

After one of their games Putin came into the lockerroom and put his arm around Barabshev. 

"You should have seen me, I had sweat just like leaking from me because like I was nervous," Barabshev says.

Putin even invited him to a speical meeting of the hockey elite in his home country. 

"I was wondering if they were like going to ask me something, I was panicking," Barbashev says. "They didn't ask me anything so it was good."

Vitale Once Traded for a Future Hall of Famer

Blues broadcaster Joey Vitale knows he doesn't have much in common with two-time Stanley Cup champion Pavel Datsyuk. 

"We both have two legs and a stick. We both used to wear red and we both were centermen," Vitale explains. 

Although Datsyuk has more goals than Vitale has games played in their NHL career, Vitale shares the unique distinction to have been traded straight-up (almost) for the Russian who has been named among the "Greatest 100 NHL Players" of all time.

When the NHL season ended in 2016, Datsyuk had announced his retirement from the NHL and desire to go back to Russia to play in the KHL. But the Detroit Red Wings were left with a major cap hit. So, the Arizona Coyotes  traded Vitale along with a pair of draft picks to the Red Wings, in return for a higher first-round pick and the rights to Datsyuk if he had returned to the NHL. 

Vitale found out about it while sitting in his St. Louis home, when he saw his name on a trade report.