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Blues’ Stewart wants to learn from growing pains

Jan 13, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

Chris Stewart Getty Images

While the St. Louis Blues exceeded just about everyone’s expectations last season, Chris Stewart had a hugely disappointing campaign. He told the St. Louis News-Democrat that he hopes to ride a vigorous offseason and some overseas play into a bounce-back year.

“This is the leanest I’ve ever been in my life,” Stewart said. “I’m excited to put the training into results and help this team win a Stanley Cup.”

Ken Hitchcock took notice after seeing him work out.

“He’s done three things: He’s lost weight, he’s in great shape and he’s focused,” Hitchcock said. “He’s done a heck of a job. He looks great, he looks like a different player on the ice. When you see him skate he’s way more fluid … he looks really good.”

Despite that down 2011-12 campaign, St. Louis decided to give the power forward a mulligan in the form of a one-year, $3 million contract in the offseason. In return for that extra chance, the Blues hope for a scoring boost.

St. Louis managed to win the Central Division last season even despite scoring the second fewest goals (210) among Western Conference playoff teams, yet one wonders if they can walk that tight rope again. A productive Stewart could provide some helpful breathing room – and benefit the budding power forward;s bank account in the process.

  1. ultimatecardinalwarrior - Jan 13, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    The Blues will score more goals this season on a per-game basis, but mostly due to the addition of Tarasenko and the overall health of the forwards (as well as more experience for Schwartz).Any uptick in scoring from Stewart is gravy for the Blues, considering he’s mostly going to be playing on the third or even fourth line.

    • stevedurbano - Jan 13, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      I hope you’re right, because if the Blues don’t need Stewart to produce then all the other pieces of the offense will be clicking. What I think is more likely is that Stewart will be needed to produce and add physical presence against teams like LA. But in order to do that he needs a maturity that wasn’t there last year.

  2. jmillmac - Jan 13, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Just for the record: There is no such paper as the St. Louis News-Democrat. There is the Belleville News-Democrat (an STL suburb), and the St. Louis Post-Didpatch.

  3. letsgopens8771 - Jan 14, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    I wish this dude could come to Pittsburgh. Too bad Shero didn’t show any interest in him. Put him next to Malkin and Neal, and nothing can stop us. Guaranteed to get off the schneid then.

    • jtrain1966 - Jan 14, 2013 at 12:33 PM

      Then what would you trade to the Blues ?

      • letsgopens8771 - Jan 14, 2013 at 8:10 PM

        Adams, Despres, and a draft pick for Stewart and maybe a 6th rounder. I think Adams is worthless and Despres had one good game but got smoked in the playoffs against the Flyers.

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