Blues Lose Rights to Bergeron, Weller, Lutes

By Chris DeGroat

The St. Louis Blues failed to reach an agreement with defensive prospects Antoine Bergeron, Craig Weller, and left wing Brett Lutes before the June 1st deadline. However, there is still a chance, albeit a slim one, that the Blues could sign Bergeron or Weller who are beyond the age limits to reenter the draft and are now unrestricted free agents. Lutes will reenter the draft later this month.

Bergeron, the Blues’ 4th selection in the 2000 draft, scored 23 goals and 45 points in 51 games this past season for Acadie-Bathurst of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He also scored 16 points in 10 playoff games.

Weller, who played last season for Kootenay of the WHL, scored 18 points in 69 games while racking up 128 penalty minutes.

Lutes, who also played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this past season, was the Blues’ 7th pick in the 2000 NHL Draft. In 64 games, he scored 79 points in the 2001-2002 season.

When asked whether the Blues were still trying to sign Bergeron and Weller or why the three players were not signed by the deadline, Blues general manager Larry Pleau declined to comment.