Porter Signs One-Year,
photo © 2011 Bridget Samuels | more info (via: Wylio)
The Blues have already taken care of a few of their restricted free agents (Berglund, Polak, Nikitin), and now they have crossed one of their unrestricted free agents off the list by signing Chris Porter to a new one-year deal. The deal, as reported by Jeremy Rutherford, is a two-way contract that features a $600,000 salary at the NHL level and a $105,000 salary at the AHL level.
Porter skated in 45 games at the NHL level with the Blues last season and contributed three goals and four assists to go along with a (-4) plus/minus rating. He also appeared in 36 games for the Peoria Rivermen of the AHL, chipping in nine goals and 11 assists with a (-1) plus/minus rating.
The Blues had three unrestricted free agents at the NHL level following the 2010-11 season – Cam Janssen, Ty Conklin and the previously mentioned Chris Porter. Prior to the news today, it was pretty difficult to imagine the Blues would bring back any of these three players.
However, this contract is one I would list as a solid move by the Blues due to the fact it is of the two-way nature. Porter didn’t show enough in 2010-11 to make me a believer he can be a regular at the NHL level, but he did show enough talent where some further development/time could be worth hanging on to.
Porter can also be a solid short-term replacement when players at the NHL level succumb to injury, but his inexperience is exposed when he is forced into more of a permanent role as we saw last season.
Below is an updated list of the team’s free agents at the NHL level as we move into the middle of June.
Restricted Free Agents:
Patrik Berglund (2 years, $4.5 million)
Roman Polak (5 years, $13.75 million)
Nikita Nikitin (1 year)
Unrestricted Free Agents:
Chris Porter (1 year, two-way deal: $600,000 NHL and $105,000 AHL)