Demitra not given qualifying offer
The Blues declined to make a $6.5 million qualifying offer to Demitra, allowing the 29-year-old forward to become a free agent Thursday.
"I think this is something that as an organization, we've been unhappy with our team's performance," general manager Larry Pleau said. "We're not blaming him, but at the same time, our payroll is going to roll back a little bit. We had to make a tough decision."
In 494 regular-season games over eight seasons, all in St. Louis, Demitra has 493 points -- 204 goals and 289 assists. He is fifth on the team's career points and assists lists.
But Demitra has struggled in the playoffs. In 66 career postseason games, Demitra has 18 goals and 25 assists. He scored one goal and had no assists when the Blues were eliminated in the first round this past season by the San Jose Sharks.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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