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

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, 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

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.