Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blues, Steen agree to three-year extension

Contract is worth $17.4 million, or $5.8 million annually

ST. LOUIS -- Just last week, Alexander Steen talked about taking things game by game and not needing to bring any extra actions into his life.

More specifically, his pending unrestricted free agent status at the end of the 2013-14 season.

"I don't feel the need to start bringing a lot of things into my life right now," Steen said on Dec. 12. "I'm a guy that likes to keep things simple, nice and loose and relaxed away from the rink.

(St. Louis Blues photo)
Blues forward Alexander Steen (20) will not test the free agent market
after agreeing to a new three-year extension worth $17.4 million.
"The focus has been game by game. There's not been a lot of time to think about other things. (It's) a tight schedule. ... It was a slow October, but now it's really tight and the main focus has been on our meetings and workouts and practices, rehab and games, flights."

In the middle of that tight schedule, the subject matter of a contract extension came up, and the Blues acted quickly, signing one of the more versatile two-way forwards in the game to a three-year extension worth $17.4 million that reportedly includes a no-trade clause. The average annual value is $5.8 million.

The contract will be officially signed at a Thursday morning press conference at Scottrade Center prior to the Blues' morning skate as they prepare to face the Montreal Canadiens. Steen is in the final year of a four-year, $13.45 million contract.

The 29-year-old Winnipeg native if off to the best offensive output of his career, posting 36 points in 33 games (22 goals, 14 assists). His plus-13 is tied for second on the team with Jaden Schwartz.

Steen's 22 goals are tied for second in the NHL with Anaheim's Corey Perry and only trails Washington's Alex Ovechkin, who has 28.

Steen, who is 6-foot-2, 212 pounds, is only two off his career-high 24 goals, which he set in 2009-10. His 20 goals this season in the first 24 games is the fastest in franchise history since Brett Hull did so in 1990-91. Steen also became the first Blue since Pierre Turgeon in 1999-2000 to have a 13-game point streak.

Steen was acquired along with Carlo Colaiacovo on Nov. 24, 2008 from the Toronto Maple Leafs for Lee Stempniak. He has 339 points in (145 goals, 194 assists) in 570 career games after being a first-round pick from the Leafs in 2002.

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