The St. Louis Blues have announced that veteran forward Alexander Steen has chosen to retire. This decision comes just weeks before the 2020-21 season. Steen had been battling a back injury but determined it was too much to continue. The team announced the decision Thursday morning.
Alexander Steen has announced his retirement from hockey due to a back injury. Steen's NHL career spanned 15 seasons, more than 1,000 NHL games, 454 points and a Stanley Cup in 2019. #stlblues
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) December 17, 2020
Alexander Steen Retires
Steen suffered a serious decline in 2019-20. His scoring dropped to seven goals and 17 points in 55 games. That translated to just .31 points per game, which is the lowest of any season with more than 20 appearances. His advanced stats also dipped to the tune of a 48.6 Corsi For and -3.2 relative Corsi. It certainly wasn’t unexpected given that Steen was 35-years-old, but it was still a shame to see the veteran struggle so mightily.
The Toronto Maple Leafs originally selected Steen in the first round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He played for the Leafs for several seasons before joining St. Louis via trade in exchange for Lee Stempniak. It is with the Blues that the Winnipeg native blossomed. He received votes for the Selke Trophy seven times. He also received all-star votes twice and Hart Trophy votes once in 2013-14. Steen ends his career with 245 goals and 622 points in 1018 regular-season games along with 91 playoff contests and one Stanley Cup victory. Only Rick Nash has more points from the 2002 draft class.
What This Means
It is often sad when a veteran retires, but Steen was a trade candidate if he had stayed with the Blues. St. Louis has no cap room and they still need to find a way to bring back promising young defender, Vince Dunn. Dropping Steen’s 2020-21 cap hit of $5.75 million clears up enough to sign the 24-year-old to a multi-year. Blues fans will undoubtedly miss their franchise stalwart, but his retirement opens the door to more important moves that keeps the team in contention for a Stanley Cup run. Congratulations to Steen on a great career.