Gretzky Lights Up Charity Golf Outing/D'Agostini Signs in Germany
St. Louis forward Matt D’Agostini is the latest Blues player to sign a professional contract overseas. D’Agostini has signed with Riessersee in the German second league.
This is more about staying sharp than making money for D’Agostini who is in the final year of a two-year contract. He was set to make $1.8 million this season after an injury limited him to just 55 games last year. He was held to just nine goals following a 21-goal breakout season in 2010-2011.
Finding work in Europe is more difficult than most would think primarily due to the limited roster spots for import players. The option of playing in the top league wasn’t there which led to him settling with the same league that features Wayne Simmonds and Chris Stewart.
Riessersee is home to one of the more beautiful mountain towns in Germany. D’Agostini leaves St. Louis today and will make his German debut Friday.
The NHL lockout didn’t prevent the Blues from holding one of their most successful golf classics ever Monday at St. Albans country club. The event benefits the 14 Fund in honor of the late Doug Wickenheiser.
Wayne Gretzky took center stage taking time to sign autographs and posing for pictures. Word is he was very gracious with the Wickenheiser family who was on hand for the day.
Local businessman Dave Webster paid a fitting $9,999 to play with the “Great One” in a foursome that featured Cardinals President Bill Dewitt III and former PGA golfer Jay Williamson. Nice of Dewitt III to spend the day supporting the Blues on the same afternoon his Cardinals hosted a playoff game at Busch Stadium.
Because of the lockout the Blues weren’t permitted to formally invite current players to the event. Captain David Backes and D-man Barret Jackman each purchased groups which included several other players. Scott Nichol, Jamie Langenbrunner, and Alex Pietrangelo were among the current players in attendance. New Jersey forward Cam Janssen and Calgary D-man Chris Butler also participated.
The highlight of the day may have been during the auction which saw Head Coach Ken Hitchcock outbid the competition for a chance to coach the Blues Alumni. Hitchcock said he couldn’t pass up another opportunity to “bench Brett Hull” who was also in attendance. Hitchcock ended up giving it away to a fan after winning the auction item.
Back to Gretzky….The Blues are fortunate to have a number of people in the organization including Hull, Kelly Chase, and broadcaster Darren Pang with strong ties with Gretzky. There was a time Gretzky questioned how he would be received by the St. Louis fans after the way things ended when he was a player. Receiving a standing ovation a few years back during the Brett Hull retirement ceremony seems to have changed things.
I don’t expect Gretzky to necessarily have a “role” with the organization but I won’t be surprised if we see more of him moving forward. He recently bought a home in Frontenac so his wife can spend more time with her family who reside in St. Louis.
John Davidson was also in attendance Monday afternoon.
Fox Sports Midwest will be airing games from the Blues, Sharks playoff series each Tuesday in October. Beginning tonight Game 3 will be shown at 7:00. There’s a chance FSN also re-airs classic regular season games should the lockout extend into November and December.
Cam Janssen will be my guest Wednesday, October 10th live at Johnny Mac’s sporting goods in Crestwood. The show begins at 6:00 and can be heard on 590 the Fan in St. Louis.
More to come,