Former Crunch Lindstrom inks one-year deal with Blues

By Jared Clinton (@JPDClinton)

After a two-year absence, Joakim Lindstrom is heading back to North America.

The St. Louis Blues announced earlier today that the now-30-year-old Lindstrom, a second round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2002, has signed a one-year deal with the team.

Lindstrom made his American Hockey League debut in 2004-05, the NHL’s lost season. The shifty winger potted four goals to go along with four assists in his 13 games with the Crunch in ’04-’05, and would stay with the Blue Jackets organization for three seasons before signing a deal with the Phoenix Coyotes.

An impact player at the AHL level — nearly a point per game with 73 goals and 109 assists in 200 AHL games — Lindstrom was an AHL All-Star in 2007-08, the year before he signed his deal with the Coyotes. Following a difficult season in which he bounced between the NHL and AHL, Lindstrom left North America, signing a one-year deal with the KHL’s Nizhny Novgorod.

Lindstrom returned to the NHL for 16 games in 2011-12, appearing in 16 games for the Colorado Avalanche. However, a clause in Lindstrom’s contract allowed for the forward to be released and return to Sweden.

In his last AHL stint, Lindstrom tallied 23 points (8-15) in 24 games.

Wolves deal Locke to Abbotsford, get Cundari on loan

After spending last season split between Finland’s SM-Liiga and Germany’s DEL, Corey Locke is moving on to his fourth team in two seasons after a deal sent him from the Chicago Wolves to the Abbotsford Heat.┬áIn exchange, the Wolves were loaned Mark Cundari from the Calgary Flames.

Locke, a veteran of over 600 games in the AHL, had previously spent time in Binghamton, Hartford, Houston, and Hamilton. One of the more prolific career AHLers, Locke has been at nearly a point-per-game clip in the minor leagues. With 178 goals and 368 assists, the Heat are getting a prolific playmaker who can improve their already stellar offence.

EliteProspects describes Locke as a skilled offensive threat and a nice addition to any team’s PP, but knocks his skating ability, adding he’s weak on the dot.

Cundari, a 23-year-old defenceman from Toronto, signed with the St. Louis Blues as a free agent after finishing his junior career with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires. With just over 200 games in the A, Cundari has established himself as a contributor on the PP, able to quarterback his team with the extra man. In 32 games this season, Cundari has tallied ten points (4-6).

The loan agreement allows Calgary to retain the rights to Cundari should they wish to bring him to the big club. However, it seems unlikely that Cundari will see the NHL this season and should spend the remainder of the year with the Wolves.

Shattock signs with Blues, adds depth for Chicago

Tyler Shattock has signed a one-year deal that will keep him in the St. Louis Blues organization.

Shattock, who has spent the last three seasons with the Peoria Rivermen, will be joining the former Rivermen roster in Chicago this upcoming season.

In his three seasons in the Blues organization since being drafted by the team in 2009, Shattock has played 198 games, scoring 14 goals and 28 assists. A former captain of the Kamloops Blazers, the right-winger has good size (6’3″, 205 lb.), but has struggled as of late. Last season Shattock found himself in the ECHL for a handful of games, and had to work his way back up to the AHL.

While in the WHL, Shattock posted 76 goals, 111 assists, and 271 PIM over 248 regular season games.

Blues acquire Cannone from Sens

The Ottawa Senators have sent Pat Cannone, who spent last season with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators, to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for future considerations.

Cannone, 26, signed with the Senators after ending his four year tenure at Miami University (OH.). While with the college hockey powerhouse, Cannone helped the team to a CCHA Championship in 2010-11, just before signing on with the Sens.

In two full season with Bingo, Cannone was a consistent performer, contributing 30 goals and 40 assists in 152 games with the Senators top affiliate.

Standing 6’0″ and nearly 200 lbs., Cannone has the hands and size to be an effective power forward and will look to put the pieces together next season when he suits up with the Blues top affiliate in Chicago. As a member of the Wolves, Cannone will likely slot into a top-six role. His current contract is a two-way deal that pays $625,000 in the NHL, and $105,000 in the ‘A’.

 

Blues add Mancari to free agent signings

It’s going to be tough to argue that any AHL team had a better free agent day than the Chicago Wolves.

In one day, the Blues have helped out their farm club by adding Alex Bolduc, Keith Aucoin, and, now, Mark Mancari.

While Bolduc and Aucoin have a serious chance to at least split time with the Blues, but Mancari, who has been a career AHLer, will help out in the minors.

Mancari, a seventh-round pick by the Sabres in 2004, signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Blues earlier today. The 27-year-old London, Ont. native — who has only suited up for NHL action 42 times in seven seasons — is an immediate impact player for the Wolves. Mancari, who towers at 6’4″ and 227 pounds, has the frame to be a dominant power forward. He’s never put the pieces together to make it full-time in the big leagues, but he’s been a stud in the AHL.

In 563 career AHL games, Mancari has tallied 203 goals and added 276 assists, making him a nearly point per game in his AHL career. Where Mancari really shines, however, is in the playoffs, where he has put up 9 goals and 23 assists in 32 games.

Mancari spent last season as an alternate captain with the Rochester Americans, racking up 22 goals and 39 assists. His career high 73 points came in 2009-10, when he potted 23 goals and 45 assists as a member of the Portland Pirates during their affiliation with the Buffalo Sabres.

Blues sign Bolduc on two-day pact

Former St. Louis Blues fourth-round draft pick Alexandre Bolduc is heading back to where it all started.

However, the 28-year-old Bolduc will suit up for the first time with the Blues on this deal. In his prior stint with the club, he failed to make an appearance, instead going unsigned and making it to the NHL through the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors.

In his first stint in the AHL, where the Quebec native suited up with then-Vancouver affiliate Manitoba Moose, Bolduc proved he could compete at the AHL level, and it lead to a contract extension.

A veteran of 312 career AHL games, Bolduc has produced 72 goals and 101 assists over that period. In addition, over 39 postseason games, Bolduc has added 11 goals and five helpers.

At 28, and on a one-year deal, Bolduc will be looking to make his way up to the big leagues and prove he’s an NHL regular. In all likelihood, Bolduc will spend some time with the Wolves before the season is through. Although the deal is a two-way contract, Bolduc is guaranteed $325,000 this season.

St. Louis signs AHL vet Keith Aucoin

Journeyman Keith Aucoin might be getting a shot in Missouri.

Aucoin, a veteran of the AHL with over 700 games player, spent last season splitting time between the Toronto Marlies and the NHL’s New York Islanders, and his performance on Long Island landed him a deal with the Blues.

The deal, which is one-way and will pay Aucoin $625,000, signals that Aucoin is going to get his first full shot at making it in the bigs.

Though his AHL tenure, Aucoin has been well over a point per game player, with 814 (233-581) points in 707 games. An alternate captain in Hershey from 2008-2012, Aucoin has always been a reliable offensive player and very rarely a liability in his own end.

It may not signal the end of Aucoin’s AHL career, but this is the next step that AHL fans have been waiting for the 34-year-old to make.