Blues make qualifying offers to free agents, place Russell on waivers

News-DemocratJuly 2, 2013 

Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, forward Chris Stewart and goaltender Jake Allen were among eight players receiving qualifying offers Tuesday from the St. Louis Blues.

The Blues also placed defenseman Kris Russell on waivers, but by making a qualifying offer they still retain his rights if he goes unclaimed by another NHL club.

Others receiving qualifying offers were made to forwards Evgeny Grachev, Philip McRae and Tyler Shattock and defenseman Cade Fairchild.

Along with trying to lock up restricted free agents Pietrangelo and Stewart with long-terms deals, the Blues are still in negotiations with unrestricted free agent defenseman Jordan Leopold.

Leopold and veteran defenseman Jay Bouwmeester joined the Blues in trades last spring and each played significant roles after joining the club.

The Blues signed defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to a four-year, $17 million contract extension last week and hope to sign Pietrangelo to a similar long-term deal. Pietrangelo, one of the league's top young defensemen, is in line for a huge pay raise.

Russell, 26, had one goal and seven points in 33 games last season, but rarely played after the addition of Bouwmeester and Leopold. Russell dressed for just three of the Blues' final 14 regular-season games and did not play in the playoffs.

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