Hockey

Blues extend Andy McDonald's deal 4 years

Andy McDonald plans to return to the St. Louis Blues lineup soon to begin showing fans why he is worthy of a four-year contract extension announced Monday.

Centre Andy McDonald plans to return to the St. Louis Blues lineup soon to begin showing fans why he is worthy of a four-year contract extension announced Monday.

McDonald, out since mid-November with a broken left ankle, has been on the ice at recent practices.

"The St. Louis Blues realize how integral Andy is to the future of our organization," Blues president John Davidson said in a statement. "He's a top-line centre who will play a major role in the development of our team."

McDonald, who would have been eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 1, is making $3.3 million US in the final season of his contract. The new deal runs through 2012-13.

"My first priority was to stay in St. Louis and continue my career as a Blue, as the organization has treated me great since Day 1," said McDonald, who will be a guest on Hockey Night in Canada Radio (Sirius channels 122 and 97) at 6 p.m. ET on Monday.

"I'm excited with the direction that this franchise is going and we have nothing but good things ahead of us."

McDonald, 31, was leading the Blues in scoring with 18 points in 16 games when he suffered the injury in a Nov. 16 game against Montreal.

In 65 games with the Blues, he has 20 goals and 34 assists for 54 points.

The Blues acquired McDonald from Anaheim last season in a trade that sent Doug Weight to the Ducks.

McDonald was a key member of Anaheim's Stanley Cup-winning team in 2007, posting a team-leading 10 goals during the playoff run.

He has 112 goals and 313 points in 456 career NHL regular-season games.

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