St. Louis Blues' Adam Cracknell, right, celebrates with teammate Jordan Leopold, left, after scoring against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Chicago, Thursday, April, 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty) By Paul Beaty
St. Louis Blues' Adam Cracknell (79) advances the puck past Dallas Stars' Loui Eriksson (21) in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Dec. 26, 2011 in St. Louis.(AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam
Minnesota Wild's Eric Nystrom, left, and St. Louis Blues' Adam Cracknell chase after a loose puck along the boards during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 29, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
(Hockey STL) The Blues have been very good about rewarding good play, and they did so again on Friday as they announced that they had reached an agreement with forward Adam Cracknell on a new one-year contract. The new contract is a one-way deal that pays Cracknell $600,000. Cracknell’s play late in the season and into the playoffs was excellent. He established himself and is now an important asset for the Blues.
Towards the end of the season, the Blues called up Cracknell for the home stretch due to injuries to several forwards including T.J. Oshie and Scott Nichol. Cracknell’s play was deserving of mention, but his place on the team was not clearly defined. Then, Cracknell began to click on a line with Chris Porter and Ryan Reaves. The line later became known as the ‘CPR’ line because of its ability to breathe life into the team at the right times. This particular line was the Blues’ best in the playoffs.
Cracknell played in 20 games for the Blues this season, accumulating six points (two goals, four assists). Though Cracknell was playing a physical game, he only had four penalty minutes during the regular season. Cracknell split time between the American Hockey League Peoria Rivermen and the Blues this year. In Peoria, Cracknell was one of the Rivermen’s assistant captains. He had 33 points (17 goals, 16 assists) in 49 games with the Rivermen.
Cracknell’s best performances came in the Blues’ quarterfinal series against the Los Angeles Kings. Cracknell played in five of the six games in the series, and while he had no points, he was one of the Blues’ best players.
Cracknell has been in the Blues organization since 2009, when he was signed as a free agent by the team. Though he has spent most of his time in the AHL, the 27-year old forward appears to have a spot on the National Hockey League roster. The move to sign Cracknell to a one-way deal means that Nichol will likely not be returning to the club next season. Nichol’s role was on the fourth line, but the Blues are not about to take that role from Cracknell who rose to the occasion this season.
The one-way deal is the first of Cracknell’s career. Altogether, Cracknell has 46 NHL games to his name with 14 points (six goals, eight assists). It appears as though he will be an everyday player for the Blues from here on.