The St. Louis Blues will have a different look on opening night. Gone are David Backes, Troy Brouwer and Brian Elliott. Alex Steen, a veteran who’s still on the roster, may not be in the lineup either when the season kicks off in October.
Steen underwent shoulder surgery over the summer and according to beat reporter Jeremy Rutherford, he likely won’t be ready for the World Cup and the start of his season could be in jeopardy too. Rutherford did add that he heard Steen is “progressing well”.
Health concerns aside, Steen and the Blues have other business to take care of. They’ll try to come to terms on a contract extension because Steen is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2016-17 season.
Here’s an excerpt from Rutherford’s live chat on the St. Louis Dispatch‘s website:
Regarding his contract, I’m hearing that Steen would like to get it done before the season starts. I’m sure the Blues would like that to happen, too, because Armstrong does not want to lose another player to free agency like he did with Backes and Brouwer. But if they can’t reach an agreement before the start of the season, does that mean it’ll be put on hold until the offseason. Not necessarily. Remember Steen said in the final year of his last contract that he didn’t want to negotiate during the season and then voila!
The 32-year-old scored 17 goals and 52 points in 67 games last season. He also posted seasons of 24 goals and 64 points in 74 games in 2014-15 and 33 goals and 62 points in 68 games in 2013-14.
Steen is in the final year of a three-year, $17.4 million deal ($5.8 AAV). He’ll take home $6.5 million this season.
Once he’s healthy, it sounds like the Blues will give Steen every opportunity to produce: