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The St. Louis Blues have signed longtime Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny, the top free agent on the market at his position, to a four-year deal worth $28 million.
Stastny, 28, grew up in the St. Louis area and is the son of Hall of Famer Peter Stastny. A two-time Olympian with the United States, Paul Stastny had 25 goals and 60 points for the Avalanche last season and five goals and 10 points in seven playoff games.
Stastny helps the Blues keep pace with the other Western Conference powers after the Ducks acquired center Ryan Kesler in a draft-day trade with the Vancouver Canucks and the Stars added center Jason Spezza in a deal with the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.
After their first-round loss to the Blackhawks, one in which they surrendered a 2-0 series lead, the Blues opted to let goalie Ryan Miller walk in free agency and focused on addressing their scoring problems. Adding a center was the priority.
Stastny is a gifted play-maker who had 458 points in 538 career games for the Avalanche, who tried to retain him right until the start of free agency. More importantly, he's registered 18 points in 22 playoff games, production the Blues need in the postseason.
The Blues' Dmitrij Jaskin tweeted that Stastny could have the No. 26 jersey. Stastny replied in a tweet that he was appreciative of the gesture.
@DmitrijJaskin to nice of a gesture! Dinner on me plus a few extra gifts we can come up with! Thanks- Paul Stastny (@PaulyWalnuts26) July 1, 2014