For the second consecutive season, the St. Louis Blues will enter a campaign with high expectations. That goes for their unit as a whole, as well as several individual players. One player in particular that is staring down some pretty lofty expectations for 2013-14 is Chris Stewart.
Stewart is coming off of a pretty solid season in St. Louis, or at least solid enough to earn him a new contract with the club. It was in a bit of doubt whether or not he’d actually get a deal done before arbitration, but the two sides were able to come to terms on a two-year pact to keep the forward with the Blues.
It was a season with ups and downs for Stewart, but when all was said and done, he finished the year as one of the better players, in terms of offensive output. He posted 36 points on the season, with an even split between goals and assists, with his 18 goals being the highest of his career since the 2009-10 season.
That doesn’t mean that the Blues aren’t looking for more from Stewart, though. In fact, heading into the 2013-14 season, their expectations for the forward are as high as they’ve ever been. The Blues have equipped Stewart with at least one key tool in their efforts to get more consistency out of him.
The team signed Derek Roy to a one-year deal earlier this summer. While Roy doesn’t appear to be the type of player that the Blues employ in their defensive oriented system, he’ll be a nice playmaker in the middle for Stewart, and could help him shake off his tendency to disappear on the stat sheet.
Stewart only received a two-year deal from the Blues, which is a pretty clear indication that they want more from him. A strong season, and a follow up in 2014-15, would mean a large contract for Stewart as he hits the prime of his career.