Free-agent center Petr Nedved, a contract holdout with the Vancouver Canucks, signed an offer sheet Friday with the St. Louis Blues.
Nedved, 22, had been seeking a contract worth at least $3-million over two years. Last season, his third in the NHL, he had career highs of 38 goals and 33 assists for Vancouver.
Nedved played for Team Canada's silver-medal team in the Winter Olympics, getting five goals and an assist in eight games. The Canucks made him the second pick overall in the 1990 entry draft.
According to terms of the offer sheet dictated by Nedved, the Blues and Canucks have until Tuesday to agree on pay. If they are unable to reach an agreement, the NHL will appoint an arbitrator.
The arbitrator has until March 14 to select one of the teams' proposals, the Blues said.
In the meantime, Nedved is available to play immediately. Blues spokesman Jeff Trammel said Nedved could practice in St. Louis on Sunday, then play in Toronto on Monday.
The Blues signed Nedved after failing to come to an agreement on a trade with the Canucks. St. Louis, the most aggressive team in the NHL when it comes to free agents, has signed four players to offer sheets in four years.
Last summer, the Blues signed Marty McSorley to an offer sheet but lost him when the Los Angeles Kings matched the offer. In 1991, the Blues signed Brendan Shanahan away from New Jersey, but lost defenseman Scott Stevens. The Blues also signed Dave Christian away from the Bruins in 1991.
Around the league
Nordiques: Quebec is considering changing its "N" igloo and powder blue, red and white uniforms for a snarling Siberian husky on navy blue and silver sweaters. The Nordiques must wear their current jerseys next season; a league rule stipulates any jersey or logo change must be submitted by Dec. 15 of the previous season.
_ TIMES WIRES