Forward becomes sixth RFA to
resign; preseason schedule released
By LOUIE KORAC
ST. LOUIS -- Doug Armstrong may be a few hundred miles away, but the Blues' general manager continues to make issues back home a priority.
Like checking off another name from the team's restricted free agents to sign.
Armstrong, in St. Paul, Minn. for the NHL Entry Draft this weekend, has certainly been busy getting players signed. Patrik Berglund, Roman Polak, Vladimir Sobotka, Nikita Nikitin and T.J. Hensick all were set to become restricted free agents on July 1. But they all have new contracts in place.
Add winger B.J. Crombeen to the room after the 25-year old signed a two-year, $2 million contract extension Wednesday ($950,000 in 2011-12 and $1.05 million in 2012-13).
"His gritty play and leadership qualities fit in well with our mix of players," Armstrong said of Crombeen in a statement.
Crombeen, who will turn 26 on July 10, has spent the past three seasons with the Blues, which includes a career-high 80 games last season when he recording seven goals and 14 points to go with 154 penalty minutes.
The 6-foot-2, 214-pound Crombeen has appeared in 248 games in his four-year career, totaling 53 points (26 goals, 27 assists) to go along with 509 penalty minutes.
Originally drafted by the Dallas Stars in the second round (54th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Crombeen was claimed off waivers by the Blues on November 18, 2008.
* Blues announce preseason schedule -- The Blues will open the 2011-12 preseason schedule on Sept. 20 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team announced on Wednesday.
The Blues play host to the Lightning at 7 p.m. at Scottrade Center. It's part of an eight-game preseason schedule that includes two games each against the Lightning, Minnesota, Dallas and Colorado.
The NHL will release its 2011-12 regular season schedule today at 1 p.m. (central time).
* Blues hire Taylor -- The Blues also announced Wednesday the hiring of Tim Taylor as the team's Director of Player Development.
Taylor, 42, retired from the NHL following the 2007-08 season after a 13-year career that included stints with Detroit, Boston, the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay. He was named the Lightning's eighth captain in team history in 2006.
Taylor is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion, winning with the Red Wings in 1997 and Tampa Bay in 2004.
"His success as a two-time Stanley Cup winner gives him a unique perspective to pass on to our young players," Armstrong said in a statement.