The St. Louis Blues are off to a great start this season, as their 22-7-4 record has them in second place in the Central Division as they near the halfway point of the season. One player who has been a key to the Blues’ great start is center Alex Steen, and on Wednesday his performance was rewarded with a three-year contract extension worth $17.4 million. Steen would have been an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and would have had no shortage of interest from other teams around the league, making this a smart move by the Blues to keep him around. With 22 goals and 36 points in 33 games, he not only leads the Blues in scoring but is near the top of the league in goals and points.
The Blues took care of long-term deals for core defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk, Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo over the summer, and they have forwards David Backes (signed through 2016) and T.J. Oshie (signed through 2017) locked up too. Since coming to the Blues in a trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2008-09 season, Steen has been a steady producer until now but is close to surpassing his career high in goals soon. The $5.8 million he will make in each of the next three seasons is a significant raise from the $3.3 million he’s making this year, but it’s a bargain considering his consistent production and the fact he likely would have drawn more on the open market. At 29 years old, Steen still has a lot of hockey left and the Blues can be thankful he’ll be playing more of it in St. Louis. He’s one of only two forwards in the league playing 15 minutes per game at even strength and also seeing significant time on the power play and penalty kill, making him an incredibly valuable player on this talented Blues team.