The first day of 2016-17 training camp was also the first and only day that Alexander Steen was an impending free agent. The St. Louis Blues forward has signed a four-year extension, the team announced today. The deal is reportedly worth $23MM, a cap hit of $5.75MM through 2020-21.
Steen has been a consistent producer throughout his career, and will try to continue to be a reliable scorer and defender for the Blues. After a strong start to his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs, during which he scored 122 points in his first three seasons, Steen was traded to St. Louis in 2008-09 alongside Carlo Colaiacovo in exchange for Lee Stempniak. Steen has been a mainstay in the Blues’ top six ever since. With great awareness on the ice, which allows him to be a great play maker and two-way player, Steen can be counted on for at least 50 points and special teams excellence in every season that he is healthy. In fact, Steen scored over 60 points in back-to-back season in 2013-14 and 2014-15, while also being a Selke candidate.
With David Backes now gone, Steen’s role on the Blues will be somewhat different starting this season. He will have more responsibility, both in the locker room and on the ice, and will be looked upon as a leader more than ever. However, being locked up long-term with fellow stars Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz has to give Steen some confidence as to his role on the team, and the Blues were smart to get an extension done as soon as possible this season, allowing Steen to focus on getting St. Louis to that elusive Stanley Cup.