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Steen Signs 3-Year Contract Extension

Thursday, 12.19.2013 / 3:19 PM CT / St Louis Blues - News
By Louie Korac  - NHL.com Correspondent
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Steen Signs 3-Year Contract Extension

ST. LOUIS -- Alexander Steen's appreciation for Don Baizley went beyond a player-agent relationship.

Baizley, who represented many NHL players during a lengthy career, died this past summer from complications with lung cancer. He was 71.

Baizley represented Steen's father, Thomas, when he was a player for the Winnipeg Jets, and he also represented Steen, who signed his three-year extension to remain with the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. The contract pays Steen $17.4 million and also includes a full no-trade clause that immediately kicks in as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

But Steen, who maintained he was comfortable playing out the final year of a four-year contract, wanted to honor his family friend and not get into any negotiations this past summer.

"To be completely honest, this summer was a sensitive time," Steen said. "My agent -- I don't even want to call him my agent, he's a very close friend of mine -- passed away in the summer. We decided that at the moment, we didn't want to focus on other things, just kind of take the time to remember Don and at the same time, get ready for the season. Moving forward, things like this would take care of itself. When the season started, we wanted to wait until the year was over and we've always had a really good and honest relationship here.

"Don's been a huge part of my life since I was little. He was my father's agent, friends' agent and friends of my father's agent. Everybody would say the same thing about him. Nobody, I think, would call him an agent. He's a friend who helped us get deals done. I think he'd be extremely proud of where I am today. I wouldn't be where I am if it wasn't for him. Going through that was difficult. Now having gotten this done, it's just a great feeling. This is where we wanted to be. Now I'm just able to focus on playing."

Alexander Steen
Alexander Steen
Center  - STL
Goals: 22 | Assists: 14 | Pts: 36
Shots: 112 | +/-: 13
With the salary cap for next season likely to rise, the 29-year-old Steen, who is tied for second in the League in goals with 22 and leads the Blues in goals and points (36), would have been one of the more sought-after unrestricted free agents.

Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong did not want to get into a bidding war over a player the Blues obviously wanted to bring back who is a core player to what they believe they are building. With free agency and Steen having a career year, his value would certainly escalate.

"I saw what happened where the upper-echelon teams financially paid millions of dollars to get rid of players only to pay millions of dollars to bring new guys in," Armstrong said. "If he got to July 1, he was going to be an attractive player and not just based on his goal total this year, but when you play 20 minutes a night, you play power play, penalty killing, 5-on-5 play … he was going to be an attractive player.

"He's obviously more attractive at the goal pace, but we believe if he settles into a 25-30 goal scorer and 60-point player over the next three years, because of all the other elements he brings, he's going to be a great value for us and he'll be a great benefit to our team."

It's the second time in his career that Steen, acquired along with Carlo Colaiacovo from the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2008 for Lee Stempniak, has signed an extension with the Blues prior to his current contract expiring. It also marks the second time he's chosen to pass on a chance at having potentially more offers and more money thrown his way.

"I haven't really thought of things like that," Steen said. "I was very honest when I said I was focused on the season. We want to achieve great things here and in order to do that, the focus has to remain on the game. With the schedule we have, there's games every other night, so it kind of made it really easy to stay focused on the game.

"As far as things like that go, I think it's more speculation and things that go on in the media than it does in my own home. … We obviously love the city here in St. Louis and are comfortable. This is a deal we're obviously very happy with. As far as the term goes, we feel three years is a long time. After that, we quietly start discussing things again. It's just the way we do things. It was easy this time, simple and that's how we like to keep it."

Steen and Armstrong really hammered out the details of an extension when the Blues were in Ottawa on Sunday to face the Senators the next night. The two ironed out the parameters over breakfast Monday morning.

"It's really a big credit to the organization here," Steen said. "… Doug and I happened to have a meeting over breakfast in Ottawa and really it was just very quick and both sides wanted to get it done and we got it done.

"It's a good fit for me. I'm really enjoying playing with my teammates. I think we have a great team. It's a really fun group to be a part of. The support you get from the city here, it's tough to beat, and fans here are very special and one of a kind. I'm extremely happy and proud to be a part of this organization and to stay here for not just this year but another three years."

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock calls Steen an important piece for the franchise moving forward. With Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, David Backes, T.J. Oshie, Kevin Shattenkirk and some of the other key pieces locked into contracts, the Blues appear set to remain among the elite teams in the League.

"He understands the balance between what the coach wants and what the team needs," Hitchcock said. "When you have those guys in the locker room it's like gold. When you've got guys in there that speak the coach's language that are able to present it to the team, it's much easier to coach, it's much easier for your team to play at a consistent level.




1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56


V. Tarasenko 77 37 36 27 73
A. Steen 74 24 40 8 64
J. Schwartz 75 28 35 13 63
D. Backes 80 26 32 7 58
T. Oshie 72 19 36 17 55
P. Stastny 74 16 30 5 46
A. Pietrangelo 81 7 39 -2 46
J. Lehtera 75 14 30 21 44
K. Shattenkirk 56 8 36 19 44
P. Berglund 77 12 15 -2 27
B. Elliott 26 14 3 .917 2.26
J. Allen 22 7 4 .913 2.28

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