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Blues re-sign Johnson

by Dan Rosen
Take Erik Johnson's name off the list of restricted free agents.

The St. Louis Blues announced Monday they have signed Johnson to a two-year contract extension. Johnson's deal is reportedly worth $5.2 million. Johnson was the No. 1 pick in the 2006 Entry Draft.

"We're excited that we have reached a deal with Erik and now we can put our focus on the upcoming season," Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong said. "Erik is a key contributor to the group and we are confident he will build on the success he had in the 2009-10 season."

After sitting out the 2008-09 season with a knee injury, Johnson returned this past season and started to show why the Blues made him the first pick of the draft four years ago. He finished with 10 goals and 29 assists in 79 games. In two seasons, Johnson has 15 goals and 57 assists in 148 games. He played for Team USA in the Olympics.

Unlike other Group 2 free agents, Johnson was not subject to offer sheets from other clubs because he sat out one entire season.

"I could not be more grateful and appreciative to sign an extension in St. Louis," Johnson said. "I'm absolutely thrilled about where this team is headed and it remains my ultimate goal to bring a Stanley Cup to the city of St. Louis in the near future."

The Blues also recently signed David Perron to a two-year contract extension, and with Johnson's two-year extension it's clear that St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong prefer to sign players coming out of their entry level deals to shorter term contract extensions. Patrik Berglund and T.J. Oshie are entering the final year of their entry level deals.

Johnson's agent, Pat Brisson, told Rutherford he was hoping to get Johnson signed to a long-term contract.

"Normally after two years, whether he has offer-sheet rights or not, the trend is to explore a longer-term deal and lock up your core players. That doesn't seem to be the case with the Blues," Brisson said. "So the course of the conversation has changed a bit. This is perhaps a direction we weren't intending to go down, but the Blues are looking for a shorter-term (extension). Whether (a long term contract) gets done now or a month from now, I don't know. We're progressing but it's not there yet."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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