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St. Louis Blues v Winnipeg Jets

Blues goaltender Jake Allen is ready to compete for the No. 1 job, general manager Doug Armstrong says.  Photo by Chris Lee,

The Blues re-signed goalie Jake Allen, who was a restricted free agent, on Friday, taking care of one of the last items on their to-do list and setting the table for a battle with Brian Elliott for the starting goalie job in the fall.

Allen, who for the first time in his career won't be a rookie next season, agreed to a two-year deal. Allen will make $2.2 million in the first season, $2.5 million in the second for a $2.35 million salary cap hit. That's less than Elliott will make; his contract, which also has two  more years on it, is for $2.5 million this season, $2.7 million the following season.

"It's good, it's a weight off my shoulders," Allen said by phone from his home in Fredricton, New Brunswick. "I can concentrate on the main objective, getting back into the swing of things, back on the ice, in hockey mode. I couldn't be happier. Two more years. I love St. Louis. It's where I want to be.

"There was no uncertainty (about the deal). It was a matter of time to get the pieces together of the puzzle. It's done now. Now we can focus on the team."

Allen's signing, and a new one-year, one-way contract for forward Dmitri Jaskin that was agreed to Friday, means there is only one restricted free agent left for the Blues, but he's the big one: forward Vladimir Tarasenko. At the moment, the Blues have about $9 million to $10 million to work with under the salary cap.

Allen was voted the league's top rookie goalie for the second time in his career, since he was technically still a rookie by league rules. He started the season as the clear backup to Elliott in the Blues' net, but by the end of the regular season, and then in the playoffs, he was the starter for the Blues.

He had a 22-7-4 record, the most wins by any rookie goalie last season, and had a 2.28 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage. He really blossomed after Jan. 1, posting an 11-2-2 record with a league-best 1.78 GAA. He finished the regular season by allowing two or less goals in his final eight games. He allowed just one goal in each of his last four starts.

Jaskin's deal is for $775,000. He had 13 goals and five assists in 54 games.

The Blues also announced the signing of their fifth-round draft pick, goalie Luke Opilka from Effingham, Ill. Opilka had committed to playing at the University of Wisconsin, but by signing a three-year entry level deal will instead be reporting to Kitchener in the Ontario Hockey League.