Blues hand Reaves four-year, $4.5M extension

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The St. Louis Blues signed enforcer Ryan Reaves to a four-year, $4.5 million contract extension on Friday.

Simply put, St. Louis turns to the tough 26-year-old for his pugilistic skills. Despite being limited to 26 games in 2013-14 (he missed some time, fittingly, by hurting his hand on someone else’s skull), Reaves has already engaged in seven fights this season. That ties him for eight in the league, according to Hockey Fights.

The bigger picture view is that the Blues are locking up most of their players for the future, though some are obviously more crucial than others.

That being said, there are still some big deals to be made, including making a decision about goalies Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott, determining if Derek Roy is a longer-term fit or just a rental and re-signing RFAs Jaden Schwartz, Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Sobotka.

The Blues would argue that the core is in place nonetheless, and they’ve retained a guy being paid (theoretically) to protect those important players.