The Blues' summer of depth signings continued on Monday, but with defensive depth already taken care of the Blues focused on offense this time by re-signing forwards Chris Porter, Anthony Peluso and Brett Sonne to one-year, two-way contracts.
Porter, who has been with the Blues since 2007, spent the majority of the season with the parent club in 2011-12, playing in a career-high 47 National Hockey League (NHL) games. He accumulated seven points (four goals, three assists) while fighting for playing time. Once the Blues became healthy, Porter spent most of his time in the press box, scratched from the lineup due to lack of space, but he was effective in the games he participated in. Porter, who is a strong and physical forward, is not typically known for his offensive skills, but was able to make an impact offensively this past season when he was on the ice.
The Toronto, Ontario native was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the ninth round (282nd overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He went unsigned until the Blues reached an agreement with him in 2007. He played in his first NHL game on October 10, 2008 and has since split time between the American Hockey League (AHL) and the National Hockey League.
The 6'1", 210-pound forward has 98 NHL games to his credit in which he has registered 16 points (eight goals, eight assists),
Last week the Blues elected to move forward B.J. Crombeen, a player that Porter was competing with for playing time, to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a couple of fourth round draft picks. Crombeen, who had a one-way contract that held a cap hit of $1 million, was likely to sit out the majority of the season due to Ryan Reaves locking up the enforcer position on the fourth line. Crombeen's one-way contract was more expensive than Porter's two-way agreement and the likelihood of Crombeen being claimed off of waivers, if sent to the AHL, was far more likely than Porter being claimed. Altogether it was a smart move by the Blues as it insures the Blues have the always-important depth for the long season ahead, and the $105,000 AHL cap hit is a cheap price. If Porter does make the team, as he hopes to do, in training camp, his NHL cap hit will be $650,000, but the likelihood of that seems slim as the Blues already have an abundance of forwards deserving of an NHL roster spot.
The other two players the Blues re-signed on Monday, Peluso and Sonne, have not seen NHL playing time thus far in their careers. Peluso, 23, has been with the Blues' AHL affiliate team, the Peoria Rivermen, for three seasons accumulating 18 points (10 goals, eight assists) with the club in 145 games. Peluso is a native of North York, Ontario and was drafted by the Blues in the sixth round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Sonne, 23, has also spent three season with the Rivermen but has more productive offensively accumulating 50 points (24 goals, 26 assists) in 209 games played.