The St. Louis Blues have avoided arbitration with winger Chris Stewart, signing him to a two-year, $8.3 million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stewart, 25, will be paid $4.1 million next season and $4.2 million in 2014-15, a nice bump in salary over the $3 million he earned last season. The average annual cap hit is $4.15 million, which leaves the Blues with just over $8 million in cap space to re-sign defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and newly-acquired winger Magnus Paajarvi .
Stewart had a bounce-back performance last season with 36 points in 48 games, a significant improvement over the 30 points in 79 games the season prior. He’s got the size (6-2, 231), speed and skill to be a strong power forward, but inconsistency has dogged him in his NHL career. If he ever gets his consistency issues sorted out, he has the skills to become a lethal scorer.