Rebuilding Blues add scoring punch, sign Kariya to 3-year deal

Updated: July 2, 2007, 1:30 AM ET
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues signed free agent left wing Paul Kariya to a three-year contract on Sunday night, adding scoring punch to a rebuilding franchise.

Paul Kariya

Kariya

Kariya, 32, was the leading scorer the past two seasons for the Nashville Predators, electing to test free agency with that franchise for sale. He's a seven-time All-Star, including five straight berths from 1999-2003.

"We are excited to announce we have signed a world class hockey player as well as a first-class person," Blues president John Davidson said. "Paul gives us instant scoring up front as well as bringing an entertaining brand of hockey."

Kariya scored 76 points last season on 24 goals and 52 assists and had 85 points in 2005-06. The Predators also have lost goaltender Tomas Vokoun, defenseman Kimmo Timonen and forward Scott Hartnell.

The Blues missed the playoffs for the second straight season but surged under new ownership that added coach Andy Murray in mid-December.

Kariya played his first nine seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, helping that franchise reach the Stanley Cup finals in 2003. He has seven 30-plus goal seasons, is a two-time Lady Byng Trophy winner, and represented Canada in two Olympics.

Kariya is the second offseason acquisition in two days for the Blues, who signed center Keith Tkachuk to a two-year contract on Saturday. The Blues traded Tkachuk, a four-time All-Star, to the Atlanta Thrashers in February and reacquired his rights last week.

Kariya has 366 goals and 500 assists in 821 games. He was originally the fourth overall pick of the 1993 draft by the Ducks.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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