Chris Stewart signs 1-year, $3 million extension with Blues

When the Avalanche and Blues made their late-night trade in February 2011, Chris Stewart was supposed to be the big get for St. Louis after sending Erik Johnson the other way. Jay McClement (to the Avalanche) and Kevin Shattenkirk (to the Blues) were nice pieces to the big deal.

Stewart scored 23 points in 26 games for the Blues after the deal, but struggled in 2011-12 netting just 30 points in 79 games and two goals in the playoffs, which also saw him be a healthy scratch twice.

The Blues still see some potential left (or possible sign-and-trade option) in Stewart as they've signed him to a one-year extension. The deal is worth $3 million, according to Andy Strickland of True Hockey.

(Strickland also reports that Stewart was facing "cutdown arbitration" this week with the Blues and could have made $2.76 million next season had it gone through.)

Stewart was scheduled to become a restricted free agent on July 1. It's a slight raise in cap hit, but a decrease from his $3.25 million salary this past season.

Now that GM Doug Armstrong has re-upped Stewart, he can set his sights on the Blues' other two RFAs: David Perron and T.J. Oshie. Then there's the decisions on whether or not to bring back veterans Barret Jackman, Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott.

Since the deal to St. Louis, Shattenkirk has outscored Stewart 60 points to 53. Questions of his conditioning and trade rumors hovered over Stewart this season. He said he'll be training with Matt Nichol, who works with Mike Cammalleri, over the summer. After the Blues were swept by the Los Angeles Kings, the 24-year-old forward told the media during cleanout day, "I think this is probably the biggest summer of my career."

With a new one-year deal, it'll also be the biggest season of his young career.

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter @Sean_Leahy

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