Stastny takes less money to go home

2015 Stanley Cup odds NHL offseason St. Louis Blues signings Paul Stastny

ST. LOUIS, MO (The Spread) - Ken Hitchcock and the Blues nabbed the best free agent center on the market in Paul Stastny, who signed a four-year deal to go home.

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Stastny, 28, will make $6.5 million in 2014-15, $7 million in each of the following two seasons and $7.5 million in 2017-18. The St. Louis native also has a no trade clause in his new four-year deal.

"It's a tough decision, [but] I was in a good position," Stastny told the media on Tuesday. "I think I had teams interested, good teams interested, and obviously the odds are always one of those teams in the end, you almost have to take a step back and take all the emotions out of it and try to realize what's best for me hockey-wise. Not just next year, but two or three or four years down the road. My family and my fiancée talked that by going to St. Louis, it would probably be the best hockey decision for me."

Stastny's agent Matt Keator told the media in St. Louis that his client took less money and years to sign with the Blues because it was his hometown team and the club is a Cup contender. Stastny will play one of the top two lines in St. Louis, while David Backes will assume the other center position. The move gives the Blues a much-needed goal-scorer after struggling offensively in the postseason the last two years.

With this signing, the Blues also kept pace in a Western Conference that is outstanding and is only getting better. Earlier in the day, the Dallas Stars acquired Jason Spezza, whom the Blues were interested in as well. The defending Stanley Cup Kings also re-signed Marion Gaborik while the Ducks added Ryan Kesler in a trade late last week.

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