Alexander Steen retires
by Lucas Aykroyd|18 DEC 2020
Alexander Steen, who retired on 17 December 2021, won an Olympic silver medal with Sweden in 2014 and added a Stanley Cup with St. Louis in 2019.
photo: Jeff Vinnick / HHOF-IIHF Images
Alexander Steen has announced his retirement from hockey. The 36-year-old centre, who won an Olympic silver medal with Sweden in 2014 and a Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues in 2019, was hampered by a spine injury last season.

Steen gave a statement to the Blues web site: “This has been an emotional process. But as I look back on my years in hockey, I would like to thank our organization, our city, our fans and my teammates, as I am so proud of all the teams I was part of.”
He enjoyed a 15-season, 1,018-game NHL career, and is one of just 348 players in history to hit the 1,000-game plateau. He also leaves behind a noteworthy IIHF legacy.

The son of Winnipeg Jets icon Thomas Steen was born in the Manitoba capital on 1 March 1984. A dual Canadian-Swedish citizen, Steen chose to play for Tre Kronor internationally.

Steen honed his skills with five seasons in the Frolunda Gothenburg system, winning a Swedish championship in 2003. He also captained two straight World Junior teams, although he did not medal under coaches such as Peo Lennart in 2003 (eighth place) or Torgny Bendelin in 2004 (seventh place). Steen jumped to North America after another Swedish pro season with Modo Ornskoldsvik in 2004-05.

Recording 622 career NHL points, the 2002 first-round pick (24th overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs would wind up outscoring every player drafted that year except #1 overall pick Rick Nash (805 points), although Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks is within striking range (610 points).

During his four Toronto seasons, Steen peaked as a rookie with 18 goals and 45 points in 2005-06. He also represented his country at an IIHF World Championship for the first and only time, recording four points as Sweden placed fourth in Moscow 2007.

However, the gritty 185-cm, 96-kg forward would truly hit his stride in St. Louis. The Leafs dealt him to the Blues in 2008 along with defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo in exchange for forward Lee Stempniak.
In 2014, Steen achieved several individual and IIHF bests. In the NHL, he scored a career-high 33 goals – one of four St. Louis seasons where he had 20 or more goals – and led the Blues with 62 points.

At the Sochi Olympics, Steen stepped up for coach Par Marts. Totalling four points, he scored Sweden’s first goal in the 5-0 quarter-final rout of Slovenia and assisted on Erik Karlsson’s winner as Sweden edged archrival Finland 2-1 in the semi-finals. However, the Swedes went into the gold medal game without star centres Henrik Zetterberg (injury) and Nicklas Backstrom (doping violation) and fell 3-0 to the undefeated Canadians.

In January 2019, Steen was one of five Blues players who came up with the idea of using Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” as a  fight song while watching an NFL game at a Philadelphia sports bar.  Five months later, the Swedish veteran was the third man to hoist the Stanley Cup after his team downed the Boston Bruins 4-1  in Game Seven at TD Garden. Captain Alex Pietrangelo first handed the Cup to Jay Bouwmeester, who passed it on to Steen. The longtime Blues assistant captain had two goals and five points in the 2019 run. The Cup victory ended St. Louis’s 50-year-drought.

Steen retires as the fifth all-time leading scorer in franchise history (496 points). He will always have a special place in the hearts of Blues fans and Tre Kronor supporters.