The St. Louis Blues addressed their No. 1 offseason need by signing veteran center Paul Stastny to a four-year, $28 million contract when NHL free agency opened Tuesday.
Paul is the third Stastny that will play for the Blues. His father, Peter, and brother Yan have already donned the Blue Note. #stlblues—
St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) July 01, 2014
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun was the first to report the terms of the contract.
Stastny breakdown in St. Louis: $6.5 million, $7 M, $7 M and $7.5 M. Plus NTC—
Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 01, 2014
Stastny tallied 60 points (25 goals, 35 assists) in 71 games for the Avalanche last season. He posted 10 points in seven playoff games.
Stastny either will be the Blues’ No. 2 center behind David Backes, or it’s possible that the captain might shift to the wing and allow Stastny to move into his spot on the top line.
The Blues needed to acquire more scoring, size and power-play skill down the middle after center ice proved to be a major weakness in their first-round playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks. After taking a 2-0 series lead, the Blues lost four straight games and scored a total of five goals in those four defeats.
As for the Colorado Avalanche, the loss of Stastny will hurt, but it’s not a catastrophic event. This move will allow reigning Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon to move from the wing to center, which is his natural position. Colorado’s 1-2 punch at center featuring MacKinnon and Matt Duchene is one of the best in the league.
The Avalanche now have salary-cap space to bolster their blue line.