The Blues have signed Keith Aucoin to a one-year, $625,000 contract. The 34-year-old center joins the Blues after spending the 2012-13 season skating with the New York Islanders. Aucoin has been in the NHL since 2005-06, spending time with the Carolina Hurricanes, Washington Capitals and the previously mentioned Islanders.
Aucoin isn't the flashiest signing on the first day of free agency, but he's a nice addition for the Blues. He helps bolster a weak area of the St. Louis lineup (down the middle) and is capable of chipping in offensively. He contributed 12 points in 41 games with the Islanders last season. He's not explosive, but he brings a strong work ethic to the table.
Despite his age, Aucoin doesn't have as much NHL experience as you might expect. He has skated in 143 career games, 41 of which came in 2012-13. His role in the NHL has been extremely limited. Between 2008-09 and 2011-12, Aucoin appeared in just 49 games over the four year period.
Still, at least one Washington Capitals fan, Jeff Kleiman, had glowing remarks for Aucoin:
"Spent most of his career in the AHL with Washington, sans a few cups of coffee with the big club. Coiner isn't going to wow you in one area, but he will fight for pucks and will show up night-in and night-out and give you everything he has. Just don't expect him to blow up the scoring sheet. He's a family man, a good locker room guy, and will endear himself to the St. Louis fans. Caps fans were extremely upset when he left for the Isles, but they took solace in the fact that he was going to get a shot in the NHL. Blues fans are going to be happy with what he brings to the rink and to the community."
Depth. This move is all about depth. As you can see in the review above, Aucoin isn't going to solve any of the Blues' offensive issues. He's a nice piece, but he won't be a major factor when it comes to pushing the Blues over the top.
The best aspect of this contract is the price. If the Blues were able to bolster their depth down the middle for under a million dollars, no one is going to complain. Still, fans will be expecting a flashier signing capable of more offensively in the coming days and weeks.