Team inks Cracknell, Cole to contracts
By LOUIE KORAC
ST. LOUIS -- The Stanley Cup hasn't been won yet for the 2013 season, but the Blues are getting a jump on the 2013-14 season.
The team recently announced that it signed winger Adam Cracknell to a one-year, one-way contract worth $600,000 that keeps the Prince Albert, Saskatchewan native off the unrestricted free agent market. And on Tuesday, the Blues came to terms in principle with defenseman Ian Cole to a two-year, one-way, $1.65 million contract that averages out to be $825,000 per season ($750,000 in 2013-14, $900,000 in 2014-15).
Cole, a 24-year-old Ann Arbor, Michigan native, just finished a three-year, $2.625 million entry-level deal and could have become a restricted free agent.
Cole, the 18th overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, played in 15 games a season ago, recording one assist. He began the season playing with Alex Pietrangelo but became part of a numbers game and a logjam on the left side of the defensive unit with the late-season additions of veterans Jay Bouwmeester and Jordan Leopold.
The 27-year-old Cracknell played in 20 games for the Blues last season after being called up from the American Hockey League's Peoria Rivermen. He posted two goals and four assists and became part of the team's 'CPR Line' that also consisted of Chris Porter and Ryan Reaves, which made up the team's fourth line.
Cracknell has six goals and eight assists in 46 career games spanning three seasons with the Blues, who signed him as a free agent in 2009 after being selected in the ninth round in 2004 by the Calgary Flames.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound left wing appeared in 49 games with the Rivermen last season, posting 17 goals and 33 points.
Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said recently the team has every intention of qualifying all the team's restricted free agents with hopes of inking all to contracts. That list includes Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk, Chris Stewart, Patrik Berglund, Kris Russell and Jake Allen. The Blues also have a number of players from the minors that are restricted free agents. That list includes Evgeny Grachev, Tyler Shattock, Cade Fairchild, Philip McRae, Paul Karpowich, Jani Lajunen, Brett Sonne, Anthony Nigro, Jay Barriball and Stefan Della Rovere.