UPDATE: The Vancouver Canucks have matched the Blues' offer to Steve Bernier as of 6 p.m. CDT. The Blues announced that they had signed Bernier to an offer sheet just over an hour earlier. As a result, Bernier will remain with the Vancouver Canucks.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that the club has signed Group II free agent forward Steve Bernier to an offer sheet worth $2.5 million for next season. The Canucks will have seven days to match the offer or receive St. Louis’ 2nd round draft choice in 2009.
“Steve is a good young player who would play a big part in our youth movement,” said Davidson. “Our coaches and scouting staff are extremely positive about him.”
Bernier, 23, was acquired by Vancouver from Buffalo in a trade on July 4, 2008 in exchange for a 2nd round draft choice in 2010 and a 3rd round draft choice in 2009. The 6-2, 225-pound right winger played for San Jose and Buffalo last season, totaling 32 points (16 goals, 16 assists) along with 64 penalty minutes. Bernier has played in a total of 177 NHL contests, amassing 90 points (45 goals, 45 assists) and 128 penalty minutes.
The Quebec City, Quebec native was originally drafted by San Jose in the first round, 16th overall in the 2003 Entry Draft.
The Blues will have no further comment until a decision is made.