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8/9/2006 6:44:21 PM

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Blues have signed defenceman Christian Backman to a multi-year deal.

"We feel that signing Christian long term is an improvement for our hockey club considering the quality minutes he logs each game," said team president John Davidson. "He is a key component to our organization now and for the future."

Backman, 26, played in 52 games last season with the Blues, recording 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) along with a career-high 48 penalty minutes.

The Alingsas, Sweden native skated in eight games at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy and helped Team Sweden win the gold medal.

The 6-foot-4, 198-pound defenceman was originally St. Louis' first choice, 24th overall, in the 1998 Entry Draft.
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