ST. LOUIS — Scott Mayfield texted his parents before Saturday night’s game to tell them he would not be playing for the Islanders against the Blues, his hometown team, disappointing 25 to 30 friends and relatives who planned to attend.
Then, during a conversation at the morning skate, Blues announcers Darren Pang and Kelly Chase asked Islanders coach Doug Weight about the St. Louis kid whom they assumed would dress.
“I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’” Weight recalled, saying that Mayfield’s bio had gotten lost in the shuffle of his hectic seven weeks on the job.
The interim coach promptly approached Mayfield on the ice and told him he was in, replacing Adam Pelech.
“Right thing to do,” Weight said. “He’s been playing great. It’s not a choice of the heart. You want to make those at times to support your team, but (I have) total trust in Scottie.”
Mayfield, 24, appreciated the gesture. “It’s pretty special to get out there and look around,” he said. “I’ve been to plenty of games here. Now I’m playing; it’s pretty nice.”
Even nicer: He picked up an assist.
After the skate, he texted his parents, Andy and Jane, again with an update. “I don’t know what they’re thinking now,” he said.
Weight dines with Gretzky
Weight went out to dinner at a St. Louis casino Friday night with Wayne Gretzky, whose wife, Janet, grew up in the area, another example of Weight’s extensive web of NHL connections.
Speaking of which, the Blues were the second opponent on this trip with which he spent many seasons as a player, following a visit to Edmonton earlier in the week.
Weight at one time planned to settle for good in St. Louis; he brought the Stanley Cup for a visit after he won it with the Hurricanes in 2006.
“I have zero ill will towards this city or this organization,” he said of the Blues. “I have nothing but thanks.”
Parade delays team bus
The Islanders’ bus to the morning skate got caught up in detours caused by a St. Patrick’s Day parade, delaying their arrival by a half hour.
John Tavares shrugged it off as team bonding on a long road trip. “That’s what makes it memorable,” he said, “some of the things you go through from going bus to bus, city to city, flying all the time, just all the things you have to deal with.”