Robert Thomas is one of the young skaters who cracked the opening night roster for the St. Louis Blues. At 19, he has been given the opportunity to show he belongs in the NHL.
While making his move into the NHL, he also made a move into a familiar name’s basement – Keith Tkachuk. The Tkachuk family and Blues GM Doug Armstrong thought it’d be a good idea for the young Thomas to start his career in a friendly, welcoming hockey environment.
Tkachuk’s comments via the Blues’ website:
“I know what it was like at that age when I was a young guy being on my own in the NHL. Together with Doug Armstrong, we thought it would be a good idea to have Robby come live with us. These kids aren’t equipped yet to take care of themselves, so we thought it would be a good idea to take him in and make him part of the family.”
At 19, it’d be asking a lot of Thomas to find his way both through living on his own in a new city and figuring out the NHL. For Tkachuk, this is just another player who has shared his home. Previously, David Backes and Lee Stempniak stayed with the Tkachuks when they came up to the Blues.
Thomas was also already familiar with the Tkachuk family, as his own family hosted Matthew Tkachuk and Brady Tkachuk when they trained in Toronto during the offseason.
Speaking of Matthew, what advice did he have for Thomas when he moved in?
“Stay out of his chair and don’t touch the controller.”
This is a great story. The Blues pride themselves in how their alumni stay connected with the team long after their playing days are over. Over the years, numerous players have returned to become coaches or assistants, while some like Tkachuk help out in even more personal ways.