The St. Louis Blues announced today that they have brought back one of their young players as the team has signed RFA right-winger Chris Stewart to a two-year, $8.3 million ($4.15 million per year) contract Friday, avoiding arbitration.
Stewart, 25, was traded to the Blue during the 2010-2011 season along with Kevin Shattenkirk as a part of the Erik Johnson trade. In 2011-2012, Stewart struggled as he posted just 30 points (15-15) but had a career high in penalty minutes with 109 in 79 games. This past season, Stewart totaled 36 points (18-18) in 48 games which would have been roughly 61 points over a 82 game season, so it was a nice bounce back year for Stewart who has been in trade rumors for some time. Stewart’s best NHL season thus far was in 2009-2010 with the Colorado Avalanche where he posted 64 points (28-36) in 77 games.
Stewart was a very solid contributor with the Blues this past season playing in a top six role. However, if Vladimir Tarasenko develops, he may push for that top line right-wing position that Stewart currently holds down. Prospect Ty Rattie should also get a chance to crack the Blues roster this season but it seems likely that he plays in the AHL this season to get pro experience under his belt first.
Follow me on Twitter, @BShaw27.