Veteran winger Chris Porter got a new two-year, one-way contract worth $1.35 million from the St. Louis Blues on Thursday and did it the old-fashioned way.
He earned it.
"He's certainly paid his dues," Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said. "It's nice to see someone that works that hard get rewarded with a two-year, one way contract. For a team that's still growing, he's a real good leader in his work ethic and his sense of responsibility."
Porter's deal is for two years and $1.35 million.
The 28-year-old left winger is a former University of North Dakota standout who signed with the Blues as a free agent in August, 2007.
He has one goal and one assist in 15 games and has become a physical force on the fourth line with his speed, hard checking and aggressive style.
Porter made his Blues debut in 2008-09, but has never spent an entire season with the team. He had seven goals and 10 points with the Peoria Rivermen this season.
"For as much as what we like on the ice, we like the off-ice things, too," Armstrong said. "His conditioning, his professionalism, his commitment to trying to get better. He's very responsible and someone that the coach knows what he's going to get with him. You want predictability and he provides that. It's a good player to have."
Cramming for chemistry
With just a handful of regular-season games remaining, Armstrong hopes new defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Jordan Leopold mesh quickly with their new partners.
Bouwmeester has been paired with Alex Pietrangelo and Leopold is playing with Kevin Shattenkirk. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock talked Wednesday about Bouwmeester's transition to a new style of defense as opposed to the system he was playing under in Calgary.
"We have to find chemistry quickly because the season's winding down," Armstrong said. "I'm hoping that these guys can find the proper partners quickly because we need to manufacture points to ensure we qualify for the playoffs."
The Blues' changed one-third of their defense, hoping to improve themselves in a big way.
"It's an area where we wanted to try to improve short and long term and I think we were able to do that," Armstrong said. "I think our group of six (defensemen) can go out against any group of six in the league. It gives us excellent depth."