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Robert Bortuzzo agrees to contract with Blues

St. Louis defenseman gets two years, $2.3 million @NHLdotcom

Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo agreed to a two-year, $2.3 million contract with the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.

The two-year, $2.1 million contract he signed in 2015 will expire at the end of this season. The new one, with an average annual value of $1.15 million, runs through 2018-19.

"He's been here, he's got a great character and guys are always pulling for him," general manager Doug Armstrong said of Bortuzzo, who's on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. "He's somebody you can rely on to give you energy and he supports his teammates all the time. I think that's something that when you sign somebody, you know he's well-liked by his teammates and they're excited for him. That's certainly the case with Robert."

The 27-year-old has one goal and one assist in 11 games with St. Louis this season, averaging 13:48 of ice time. He has eight goals and 27 points in 177 NHL games, including four goals and seven points in 64 games with the Blues.

"I wanted to be here and it sounded like they wanted me here, so we got it done," Bortuzzo said. "The town, the team, the organization, they're all world-class. It's been great. There's a great core here, and I feel like I can be part of it moving forward."

The Blues acquired Bortuzzo in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins for defenseman Ian Cole on March 2, 2015. Bortuzzo started to get regular time in the lineup this season after serving mainly as a seventh defenseman. He's been limited to 11 games this season because of two stints on injured reserve, each with a lower-body injury, but it's something the Blues said they aren't concerned about.

"Not really; they're not because of a lack of training," Armstrong said of Bortuzzo's injuries. "They're sort of freak injuries. Those happen in the game. Obviously we know he's going to be healthy."


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