Chris Stewart 2

Blues re-sign Stewart: two years, $8.3 million


The St. Louis Blues locked up another key restricted free agent on Friday, agreeing to terms with forward Chris Stewart on a two-year, $8.3 million deal.

The deal will carry an average annual cap hit of $4.15 million. According to CBC’s Tim Wharnsby, Stewart will be paid $4.1 million next year and $4.2 million in 2014-15.

The 25-year-old power forward led St. Louis in scoring last year with 36 points in 48 games, and was slated to kick off the arbitration period with a hearing on July 22.

His last contract, a one-year deal, paid him $3 million.

As mentioned above, Stewart is the latest in a series of St. Louis RFAs to ink this summer.

The procession began with Patrik Berglund, who agreed to a one-year, $3.25 million deal in late June, then continued with defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who signed a four-year, $17 million extension shortly thereafter.

The Blues’ other key RFA is, of course, defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. Unlike Stewart, the 23-year-old blueliner does not have arbitration rights, so that deal could take a bit longer.

Last week, St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong made a move to clear up some cap space by dealing winger David Perron to Edmonton for Magnus Paajarvi.

Perron was set to make $3.8 million next season while Paajarvi is still a RFA, and has yet to reach a new deal with the Blues — and, after the Stewart signing, the Blues now have roughly $8 million in available cap space for 2013-14.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.