May 8, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Chris Stewart (25) takes a shot against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period in game five of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Free Agency: What is the Price for Chris Stewart?

On Saturday the Blues announced the signing of Derek Roy to a one-year, $4 million deal, but what does that mean for RFA Chris Stewart.

After an impressive prove-it season in 2013, Stewart was looking for a slight pay increase.  Given the cost of players in free-agency, it looks like Stewart’s price just went up.

Blues’ GM Doug Armstrong clearly wants to lock Stewart up long term but by dragging his feet may have made it a bit more difficult to get the job done.

In 2013 Stewart was set to make some $3 million which was $250,000 less than his salary in 2011-12.  The pay decrease was due to the slump Stewie hit during that season which saw his production fall to an all time low.

That slump quickly came to an end as Stewart discussed his allergy to brown rice which helped him drop weight and get into the best shape of his career.  After leading the Blues in scoring, Stewie looked like he would surely be back in the note for the 2013-13 season.

If Blues’ GM Doug Armstrong wants to keep Stewart as part of the core of this team he is going to need to pay up.  While contract talks have been kept behind closed doors, Stewart could be looking for a salary of up to $6 million per season.   Surely the Blues can’t afford to pay him quite that much considering they also need to address the contract of fellow RFA Alex Pietrangelo.

If Stewart were willing to take a home town discount, one would surely expect that he would be looking for at least $5 million per season which would make him the second highest paid player on the team.

Armstrong was almost certainly looking to sign Stewart to a deal similar to that of team captain David Backes at $4.5 million over 5 years or more.

Time will tell how the situation plays out, but if Army wants to keep Stewart with the Blues he is going to have to free up some salary throughout the team.  As they sit, the Blues have 14 forwards under contract.  Perhaps after the signing of Derek Roy Armstrong is considering moving one of the players that are a member of this team’s core.

Could Chris Stewart have played his last game in the Blue Note?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


-Alex Hodschayan

Tags: Alex Pietrangelo Chris Stewart Derek Roy Free Agency St. Louis Blues

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