(HockeySTL) -- Marcel Goc arrived in St. Louis Wednesday evening, just 24 hours after learning he had been traded from the Penguins to the Blues in a deal that sent Maxim Lapierre the opposite way. He was on the ice 12 hours later for the team’s morning skate, giving the coaching staff a first glimpse at their new forward.
“He’s a smart positional player who manages the ice well,” said Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock. “He reads off of other people really well and he’s a methodical player. He manages the ice in a different way.”
With the Blues, Goc will wear No. 57, which was previously worn by David Perron, who, ironically, was recently Goc's teammate in Pittsburgh. Though he won't be the same offensive threat that the former wearer was, there are other ways Goc will make himself an asset.
“I try to play the way the system works and try to be responsible, not create too many mistakes,” said Goc, giving an answer that would make Hitchcock proud. “I am playing with two guys who are great on the forecheck. I know if they are up there forechecking I need to cover them. Hopefully that way we can create some turnovers.”
The same night Goc learned of the trade, the 31-year-old forward tallied his sixth point of the season, an assist, in a Penguins win. As he plays his first game with the Blues Thursday night, Goc hopes to add on more to his statistical compilation.
“I was a little shocked,” said Goc. “The more I thought to think about it I realized I was going to a team that was really, really good and then I got more and more excited. I’m happy to be here and looking forward to tonight.”
As he was making arrangements in his new city Wednesday evening, he was also watching his former team fall to the Washington Capitals.
“I saw a little bit of (the game) on my phone,” said Goc. “I was on my phone organizing stuff. It was a little weird. The night before I was with those guys and last night I was watching them. I’m here now. It’s a new place, a new start.”
Goc brings a two-game point streak with him to the Blues, where he will be centering Steve Ott and Ryan Reaves on the fourth line. The gritty forward has limited, but memorable recollections of playing the Blues and matching up with their fourth line.
“It was tough to play against them,” Goc said. “They were a tight-checking team. That’s what makes them so tough to beat. Hopefully I can adjust quickly and make some chemistry with my linemates.
“The best way to get familiar is to play games and get used to guys. I got a little crash-course for this one tonight.”
In fact, the only teammate Goc has any familiarity with is Ott, who was in Dallas when Goc was with San Jose.
“I just know guys from playing against them,” said Goc. “Steve probably the most. When I was in San Jose he was in Dallas so I saw him every other day.”
“He picks his spots, waiting for the right opportunities,” said Ott. “It’s two kinds of different styles but in essence we need to bring him along and create that fourth line that we need.”
Hitchcock said he isn’t worried about the lack of preparation time for Goc, who only has one skate under his belt with his new team.
“I would say 90 percent of the stuff is the same (as in Pittsburgh),” said Hitchcock. “That’s good because he’s not having to make huge adjustments. It’s more getting up to speed emotionally. Some of it is on the player coming in and the rest is on us to get him (ready).”
Likewise, Goc doesn’t expect the transition to be too rigorous.
“It’s always tough to go somewhere new but these are great guys and make it as easy as possible to transition and get acclimated,” he said.