The Blues and defenseman Steve Wagner have come to terms on a one-year contract.
The new deal is a two-way contract, which means he'll earn $575,000 in the NHL with the Blues, or $75,000 in the AHL with Peoria.
The 25-year old defenseman will most likely begin the season in Peoria. At times, though, he has shown flashes of being a capable defenseman at the NHL level. In 46 career NHL games, he's tallied four goals and eight assists. Last season, Wagner had two goals and two assists in 22 games with the Blues.
- When writing my blog yesterday, I forgot to add in two other Blues' depth signings...
The Blues re-signed defensemen Justin Fletcher and Danny Richmond to AHL contracts.
Fletcher, 26, played in 68 games with the Rivermen last season, notching eight goals and 24 assists, leading all defensemen on the team in points.
Richmond, 24, played in 18 games with Peoria last season, and tallied one goal and four assists. He was acquired on March 4, 2009 from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for defenseman Andy Wozniewski. In 55 games with the Penguins' AHL affiliate, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Richmond recorded three goals and 14 assists.
- Congratulations to former Blues' goaltender Curtis Sanford on signing a two-way contract with the Montreal Canadiens yesterday. Hopefully he can regain his form and win himself a spot on the Canadiens' roster as their backup to Carey Price.
This signing probably means the end in Montreal for backup goalie Jaroslav Halak. Rumor has it that San Jose is the front-runner for his services.
- Within the next day or so, Blues' GM Larry Pleau will be talking to Roman Polak's agent, Alan Walsh, about a multi-year contract extension. This according to Team President John Davidson.
The two sides are still far apart on negotiations, and the hope is that the Blues can lock up Polak, if not long-term, then for the upcoming season.
- It looks like another Colaiacovo could be making his way through the Blues' system.
Goalie Paulo Colaiacovo, the younger twin-brother of Blues' defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, has been signed to a contract by the IHL's Bloomington PrairieThunder, and will report to Peoria's training camp in September before heading to Bloomington.
The second Cola (I prefer to call him Diet Cola...ha ha, did I try too hard on that one?) sat out all of last season while rehabbing a knee injury. Peoria could call Colaiacovo up to the roster if one of their goalies (Bishop, Holt, Toivonen) were to get hurt or called up to the Blues.
- Was it a smart decision on the Chicago Blackhawks' part to sign Marian Hossa to such a lucrative contract on July 1st?
With the news that just recently came out that Hossa possibly has a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder, and may need surgery, you gotta wonder how the process of the physical given to Hossa by the Blackhawks went, and if they knew beforehand that his shoulder was damaged but gave him the contract anyway.
No one really knows until more of this story breaks, but it just seems kind of fishy to me. You don't just give a guy the star-caliber of Marian Hossa a heavily front-loaded $62.5 million contract for 12 years, and not know until just now that his shoulder was severely injured.
There should have been something in the physical that was taken by him in front of Blackhawks' team doctors that looked unusual, and the doctors should have noticed and went to team officials negotiating the deal and said "Hey, something's not right with his shoulder...maybe this isn't such a good idea."
Despite all the cover-up stories and "no comment's" that the Blackhawks and their PR staff will be putting out in the next few days, the fact of the matter is this. A torn rotator cuff doesn't just show up out of nowhere. You don't just wake up one day and automatically feel it. That is a very painful injury, from the time it's sustained, to the time you get surgery to repair it.
Either the Blackhawks were in a rush to make a big splash in free agency and signed damaged goods because he's a star name in the NHL, or one of the doctors administering the physical either screwed it up or covered up the results.
Either way, Hossa could be out until at least December if he requires surgery. However, the "damaged goods" singing of Hossa in terms of the money involved in the deal, is looking worse now that he's hurt, and after this season it could cost the Blackhawks re-signing Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Duncan Keith to long-term extensions.
Looks like their battleship just got sunk...