Since he arrived in St. Louis Alexander Steen has always been a productive, useful and incredibly underrated player for the Blues. He's finally getting noticed for it this season because he's second in the league in goals and having the best statistical season of his career.
On Wednesday, the Blues rewarded him for his fine work with a brand new contract extension, signing the veteran winger to a three-year, $17.4 million contract extension. That comes out to a cap hit of $5.8 million per season, which is a $2.2 million increase over his current deal.
Had he not signed a new contract extension before this summer he would have been an unrestricted free agent where there would have been no shortage of bidders for his services.
As for the deal itself, it's more than fair for the Blues when you consider his play on the ice and the likelihood that could have likely received an even bigger contract on the open market, especially with the salary cap set to go up for next season.
In 33 games this season Steen has already scored 22 goals, good enough for second in the league behind only Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, and is just two away from matching his career high. He's no doubt getting a little bit of shooting luck right now (his 19.6 shooting percentage is well above his career average of 9.6 percent) so he's unlikely to continue scoring at this sort of pace. That shouldn't be a problem for the Blues. Steen is the type of player that makes a difference in the game even when he's not scoring goals. He's an outstanding two-way player that has always had a knack for keeping the play moving in the right direction and helping his team control puck possession.
It doesn't always translate into goals for him, but it's a valuable skill that every winning team needs, and Steen is one of the best in the league at it. Since the start of the 2009-10 season the Blues have attempted 55 percent of the even-strength shot attempts with him on the ice, a number that places him 16th among all NHL forwards.
In 570 career games Steen has scored 145 goals to go with 194 points with the Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs.
St. Louis acquired during the 2008-09 season from Toronto, along with defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, in exchange for Lee Stempniak.