After a tremendous season that saw the franchise go 29-17-2 and reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the St. Louis Blues apparently decided it would be in their best interest to re-sign their leading scorer.
Forward Chris Stewart, who was a restricted free agent, inked a 2-year contract to stay at home in St. Louis on Friday. This move kept the two sides out of arbitration and, at least likely, kept the 18-goal scorer happy. In addition to those 18 goals last season, Stewart led the team in points with 36 (in just 48 games), and at 25 years old, he seems to be directly in the prime of his career in St. Louis.
It is certainly up for debate whether Stewart is the type of “front line” player that teams want to shell out big money for in the current version of the NHL, but he presents fantastic value to the Blues. With the arbitration deadline set for Monday, the two sides snuck the deal in just under the wire, and while the financial details haven’t been released yet, you can bet that Stewart is now a fairly rich man. This is an absolute win-win for both sides, and I would expect Stewart to lead the Blues back to the playoffs in 2013-2014.