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Iron-man Bouwmeester with Blues 5 more years

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ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues have signed defenceman Jay Bouwmeester to a five-year contract extension.

The Blues acquired Bouwmeester from Calgary at last season's trade deadline in exchange for prospects Mark Cundari and Reto Berra, a first-round draft pick in the 2013 draft (Emile Poirier) and a fourth-round pick.

Bouwmeester played 14 games for the Blues, scoring a goal and adding seven assists with a plus-5 rating. Before joining St. Louis, he had six goals and nine assists in 33 games and a minus-11 rating with Calgary.

He extended his iron-man streak to 635 games last season, maintaining the longest consecutive-games-played stretch in professional sports.

He added an assist in six playoff games as the Blues were eliminated by Los Angeles in the first round of the post-season. It was the first time in 11 NHL seasons Bouwmeester appeared in the playoffs.

The 6-4, 212-pound Edmonton native was selected third overall by Florida in the 2002 draft.

Clifford stays with Kings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Left-wing Kyle Clifford has re-signed with the Los Angeles Kings, agreeing to a two-year deal worth $2.15 million.

The Kings announced the deal Friday with Clifford, their last remaining free agent.

Clifford has 40 points and 315 penalty minutes in 205 games with the Kings, who drafted the physical forward in the second round in 2009.

He played in just three post-season games in 2012 after getting injured early in the Kings' run to their first Stanley Cup title. Clifford assumed a more prominent role for Los Angeles this season, scoring 14 points in the regular season and participating in 14 playoff games.

His return is a boost to the Kings, who lost defenceman Rob Scuderi (Pittsburgh) and forwards Brad Richardson (Vancouver) and Dustin Penner (Anaheim) in free agency.

US$38.8K for Gretzky stick

CHICAGO -- The hockey stick a 13-year-old Wayne Gretzky used to score the 1,000th goal of his lifetime sold for US$38,838 at a recent sports memorabilia auction.

The Koho-brand stick, signed in blue ink by the Great One after he scored the landmark goal in 1974, was sold to an anonymous bidder Thursday at a sports auction managed by Heritage Auctions.

The stick was being auctioned for the first time. It had belonged to the family of Ron St. Amand, Gretzky's coach on the Brantford Turkstra Lumber squad. Gretzky gave the stick to St. Amand after the game.

"This is a great price and a very unique piece of memorabilia, certainly a house record for a Gretzky stick sold at Heritage from any period of his playing days," said Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 3, 2013 C7

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