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Blues sign Andy McDonald to 4-year extension

NHL.com @NHL

ST. LOUIS (AP) -The St. Louis Blues signed center Andy McDonald to a four-year contract extension Monday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"The St. Louis Blues realize how integral Andy is to the future of our organization," team president John Davidson said. "He's a top line center who will play a major role in the development of our team."

The 31-year-old McDonald is in his eighth NHL season. He has missed the past 35 games with a broken left leg. In 16 games before the injury, he led the Blues with 18 points, including six goals and 12 assists. St. Louis isn't certain when he will return.

The Blues acquired McDonald in the middle of last season from Anaheim. McDonald was part of the Ducks team that won the 2007 Stanley Cup.

In 456 career games, McDonald has 112 goals and 201 assists for 313 points, along with 206 penalty minutes.

McDonald said his priority was to stay in St. Louis.

"I'm excited with the direction that this franchise is going, and we have nothing but good things ahead of us," he said.

It's been a rocky road to this point. After 25 straight postseason appearances, the Blues haven't made the playoffs since 2004.

This season, they're still in the hunt. St. Louis is 6-1-3 over the last 10 games but still has the fewest points in the closely bunched bottom tier of the Western Conference. Going into play Monday night, St. Louis was six points behind Vancouver and Edmonton for eighth place.

McDonald was hurt on Nov. 16 when he crashed into the corner boards late in the first period of a 3-2 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

It is one of several injuries to key players for the Blues this season. Forward Paul Kariya has been sidelined with a hip injury since Nov. 5. Defenseman Erik Johnson, the overall No. 1 pick of the 2006 draft, is out the entire season after injuring his knee in a pre-training camp golf outing accident. Another defenseman, Eric Brewer, has been out with a back injury since Dec. 13, and it's uncertain when he'll return.

McDonald, a native of Strathroy, Ontario, originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Anaheim in 2000.

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