St. Louis Blues Bring Back Chris Butler, Add Eight Other Players on Two-Way Contracts


St. Louisan Chris Butler headlined a list of nine players that signed two-way deals with the Blues this weekend.

The St. Louis Blues announced on Saturday morning that they’ve signed nine players to two-way contracts.

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Most notably, they brought back St. Louis native Chris Butler, a 29-year-old defenseman who has appeared in 38 NHL games with the Blues over the past two seasons while also spending time in the AHL. Butler, who has played in 387 career NHL games, is the most tenured player among the bunch.

Next to Butler’s return, the most notable development was arguably the signing of forward Conner Bleackley to a three-year entry-level contract. Bleackley, a center who was selected in the fifth round of last weekend’s NHL Draft, was a first-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2014 but went unsigned and had to re-enter the draft. He’ll participate in this week’s Blues prospect camp, and it’s likely that he’ll end up playing with the organization’s AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, this season.

Winger Jacob Doty, who had been tendered as a restricted free agent earlier this week, was given a one-year, two-way deal, and a slew of minor-league free agents were also signed to one-year, two-way contracts. Forwards Wade Megan, Alex Friesen, and Kenny Agostino and defenseman Brad Hunt have all joined the Blues organization and are likely to play for the Wolves in 2016-17. The Blues also officially announced the signings of forward Andrew Agozzino and defenseman Morgan Ellis, which we wrote about yesterday. Both players received the same contract terms as the individuals listed above.

Brad Hunt Edmonton Oilers
Dec 29, 2015; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers defensemen Brad Hunt (24) follows the play against the Los Angeles Kings at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

Hunt, an undersized 27-year-old blueliner, broke into professional hockey as an independent player with the Wolves before catching on with the Edmonton Oilers organization. Over the past three seasons, Hunt has played in 21 games with the Oilers, collecting a goal and two assists while posting a collective minus-10 rating. He’s historically been an offense-first defenseman, collecting at least 40 points with double-digit goals in each of his past three AHL seasons.

Friesen and Agostino also received cups of coffee in the NHL during 2015-16. The 25-year-old Friesen, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound center, played in a singular game with the Vancouver Canucks on February 16, making his NHL debut during his fourth pro season. Interestingly, like Hunt, Friesen also previously played with the Wolves and will be returning to Chicago for a second stint in 2016-17.

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Agostino, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound Yale product, has played in 10 games over two seasons for the Calgary Flames. During his debut pro season in 2014-15, Agostino skated in eight games for Calgary, collecting a goal and an assist, but last season, he played in just two games for the Flames and had no points.