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Blues re-sign Steen, Sobotka

by John McGourty
The St. Louis Blues have re-signed restricted free agents Alexander Steen and Vladimir Sobotka. Both players have played center and left wing.

Steen, 26, is coming off the best season of his five-year NHL career, tying for the Blues' team lead with 24 goals and adding 23 assists for 47 points in 68 games. He was plus-6 with 30 penalty minutes. Steen scored seven power-play goals, two shorthanded and had four game winners. Steen dished out 45 hits, blocked 39 shots and had 24 takeaways.

Steen, a 6-foot-1, 206-pound left-handed shooter, was a first-round pick, No. 24, of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2002. The Blues traded Lee Stempniak to the Maple Leafs for defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo and Steen on Nov. 24, 2008. He has 80 goals and 117 assists for 197 points in 382 NHL games and is minus-8 with 160 penalty minutes.

Steen was born in Winnipeg while his Swedish-born father, Thomas, played for the Jets. Alexander Steen grew up in Sweden and advanced through the Frolunda Indians system and played with MODO in 2004-05 before making the jump to the NHL.

Sobotka, 22, was acquired from the Boston Bruins on June 26 in exchange for the rights to Boston University defenseman David Warsofsky. The Trebic, Czech Republic native was a fourth-round pick, No. 106, of the Bruins in the 2005 Entry Draft.

Sobotka split the last three seasons between the Bruins and their AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. His 61 games this past season were the most in his NHL career. The 5-foot-10, 183-pound left-handed shooter had 4 goals and 6 assists for 10 points and was minus-7 with 30 penalty minutes. Sobotka has 6 goals and 16 assists for 22 points in 134 NHL games and is minus-16 with 64 penalty minutes.

He was very effective in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Buffalo Sabres but hurt his shoulder early in the next series against the Philadelphia Flyers. Sobotka had two assists and was minus-10 in 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games this spring.
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