Veteran center Scott Nichol was signed to a one-year, $650,000 contract extension Thursday by the St. Louis Blues.
The Blues also named former Blues player and longtime front-office executive Bruce Affleck as the team's chief operating officer.
Nichol, who could have become an unrestricted free agent July 1, had three goals, five points and 83 penalty minutes in 80 games last season. The 37-year-old forward will be skating in his 13th NHL season.
"We are pleased to have Scott back in the fold for next year," Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said in a news release. "His work ethic and professionalism are second to none and he serves as an excellent role model for our young core."
Nichol proved quite valuable last season while centering the checking line, taking key faceoffs and as one of the team's top penalty killers.
"I take a lot of pride in the penalty kill and faceoffs, all the little intangible things you don't always see night-in and night-out," Nichol said. "That's what builds a good, winning atmosphere and a winning team. We have that on our team, guys that bring a lot of different things to the table."
As a result, Nichol was happy to re-enlist with the Blues.
"We really liked St. Louis," Nichol said. "I think we've started something that we all want to finish. We grew a lot as a team and matured a lot and most of the team's back, so everybody's excited to make the next step and challenge each other to get better."
Nichol said he could have looked elsewhere, but was happy with his role with the Blues and even happier with where he believes the franchise is headed.
"As I get older, I want to win and that's very important to me," Nichol said. "We have as good a team as anybody in the NHL. We have good chemistry and a great thing going and a great city and fans behind us."
The Blues were swept out of the playoffs in the second round by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
"Watching L.A. raise that cup, I think all of us were kind of stunned a little bit," Nichol said. "We'll come back with a burr in our saddle and ready to go."
The Blues previously signed veteran defenseman Barret Jackman to a three-year extension and signed veteran winger Chris Stewart to a one-year deal.
Wingers T.J. Oshie and David Perron are both restricted free agents and need to sign before Sunday before other teams could present them with offer sheets that could be matched by the Blues.
Another option for both sides is arbitration.
Remaining unrestricted free agents include forwards Jamie Langenbrunner, Jason Arnott and Chris Porter and defensemen Carlo Colaiacovo and Kent Huskins.
Affleck will run the business side of the Blues and Scottrade center and other financial activities.
Affleck joined the Blues in 1975 and played with them for five seasons. He returned to the franchise as sales manager in 1987 and over the years has been vice president of sales and vice president of alumni.
"I've worked for seven owners, I don't think I'll be working for another one," joked Affleck, who has either played or worked under every Blues owner but Harry Ornest. "It's been a roller-coaster ride. Hopefully I've learned from all those circumstances, too."
Affleck also has done radio and television work for the Blues at various times. He helped start the Blues Alumni Association as well as the St. Louis Amateur Hockey Hall of Fame.
Affleck said his job will entail helping to generate more and new revenue from area businesses and individuals while overseeing the business side of the franchise, Scottrade Center and the Peoria Rivermen.
"We're trying to get St. Louis businesses as well as fans behind us and supporting us, trying to support this local group of owners," Affleck said of the group headed by Tom Stillman. "I think we can make some progress and help keep this an elite franchise both and and off the ice.
"It's pretty exciting for me and the family. It's a lot of work and a big challenge, but I'm excited."
Affleck has worked in so many areas of the franchise he felt this new position would push him even further.
"It's a lifestyle change, a lot of hours and a huge responsibility witt overlooking the building and the business side and Peoria, all of that," he said. "But I'm looking forward to it, I feel like I'm back in the game now. Tom's given me the opportunity and obviously I'm very honored."
Contact reporter Norm Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2454.