NHL Notes: Blues re-sign Alexander Steen

NHL Notes: Blues re-sign Alexander Steen
December 18, 2013, 8:30 pm
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Alexander Steen has 22 goals and 36 points in 33 games this season with the Blues. (USA Today Images)

The St. Louis Blues on Wednesday re-signed Alexander Steen to a three-year, $17.4 million contract extension.

Steen's extension will carry a $5.8 million cap hit and includes a no-trade clause, according to CBC's Elliotte Friedman (via ProHockeyTalk).

The 29-year-old is tied for second in the NHL with Anaheim's Corey Perry with 22 goals, each trailing Alex Ovechkin's 28. He also has 14 assists for 36 points in 33 games.

A first-round pick by the Maple Leafs in 2002, Steen is the first player to score in each of his team's first 10 wins since Eric Lindros did so in 1992-93 with the Flyers. He also became the first Blue since Pierre Turgeon in 1999-00 to record a point in 13 consecutive games.

This year, Steen's emergence has played a huge part in St. Louis' 22-7-4 record. The Blues are trailing the Blackhawks in the Central Division, and if the season ended today, they would get the fifth seed in the Western Conference. St. Louis' 48 points are the fifth-most in the NHL -- behind Chicago, Anaheim, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.

With 49 games left to play, Steen, baring injury, will far surpass his career high of 24 goals set in the 2009-10 season.

Penguins: Engellend suspended 5 games
Another Penguin has been disciplined by the NHL.

Penguins defenseman Deryk Engellend on Wednesday was suspended five games for a hit to the head of Justin Abdelkader in Pittsburgh's 4-1 win over the Red Wings on Saturday night.

Patrick Burke of the NHL Department of Player Safety said, "Engelland tucks his shoulder and drives through Abdelkader, recklessly picking his head and making it the main point of contact. Abdelkader is leaning forward and his head is exposed."

Missing five games will cost Engelland $14,530.

Engellend has two goals and three assists in 27 games with the Pens this season.

Forward James Neal was suspended five games on Dec. 9 after kneeing Bruins forward Brad Marchand in the head on Dec. 7. Neal has one game left on his suspension.

Wild: Harding placed on IR
Minnesota currently holds the eighth spot in the Western Conference. Much of that can be credited to goalie Josh Harding, who ranks in the NHL in goals against average (1.51) and second in save percentage (.939).

But they'll be without the 29-year-old netminder for about a week, as the Wild on Wednesday placed Harding on injured reserve to allow him to adjust his treatment for Multiple Sclerosis.

"Over the next week, Josh will make a minor adjustment to his treatment protocol," Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said in a statement (via ProHockeyTalk). "Josh feels great and he looks forward to rejoining our team for our game in Winnipeg on Dec. 27."

While Harding sits out, Niklas Backstrom will take over as the No. 1 goalie, and Johan Gustafsson has been recalled to back up Backstrom.

Backstrom should be familiar with the starting job, seeing how he's held it for the Wild most of his eight-year career. But Harding impressed last year and took a stranglehold this season as the team's full-time starter.