NHL teams treasure power forwards. Big guys offering skill and toughness collect premium pay in North America.
So Chris Stewart will have every incentive to play large for the St. Louis Blues during the next two seasons.
His two-year, $8.3 contract could just a stepping stone toward more lucrative deals. Stewart is building worthy credentials. He delivered two 28-goal seasons earlier in his career and he scored at a similar pace (18 goals in 48 games) last season.
Stewart took a step back two seasons ago, scoring just 15 times in 79 mostly listless games. He redoubled his commitment to conditioning last summer and played a more vigorous game as a result.
He has size (6-foot-2 and 230 pounds) to lean on opponents. He has above average puck skills for a big man and he can fight well.
Stewart could become an unrestricted free agent in 2015 – and UFA power forwards have fared ridiculously well in the marketplace.