Perhaps the top center on the free agent market, Paul Stastny has found a new home. Stastny returned to his hometown on Tuesday, signing with the St. Louis Blues. The deal is for four years, and while financial terms were not disclosed, it is reportedly worth $7 million per season.
In his final season of a five-year deal that paid him $6.6 million per year, the 28-year-old Stastny enjoyed a rebound season; putting up 60 points in 71 games. He also had a great playoff run, adding 10 points in seven games.
In the Colorado Avalanche, Stastny is leaving the only team he has ever known. The Avs selected Stastny in the second round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He played college hockey for the University of Denver, winning a National Championship in 2005.
Stastny is also leaving the franchise with which his father Peter Stastny started his NHL career. Peter spent his first nine seasons (and most of a 10th) with the Quebec Nordiques, scoring more points in the 1980’s then everyone other than Wayne Gretzky. He now heads to the team with which his father finished his NHL career in St. Louis. His older brother, Yan Stastny, also played for the Blues; while his uncles Anton and Marian Stastny, also played for the Nordiques.
In St. Louis, Stastny will also be reunited with 2014 U.S. Olympic teammates David Backes, T.J. Oshie and Kevin Shattenkirk (who also played with Stastny in Colorado). Stastny and Backes were also on the 2010 U.S. Olympic team, winning a silver medal. The signing may also allow Backes to move from center to right wing.