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Blues' Turgeon Gets Record Deal

St. Louis Blues center Pierre Turgeon has received the highest arbitration award in NHL history, $4.65 million, for a one-year contract.

The award tops the $4.5 million deal given to the Montreal Canadiens' Mark Recchi on Monday.

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"We are pleased, Pierre is very happy," Turgeon's agent, Bob Sauve, said.

Turgeon made $3 million last season and was expected to get a hefty raise because of the inflated salary trend caused by the unrestricted free-agent market. If he has another big season, Turgeon could demand another large raise next year.

Sauve said the parties met Saturday and the arbitrator made the award Tuesday night.

"It's a tough process, but it was done well," the agent said. "The Blues had a point to make, but they did it in a classy way."

Turgeon, an 11-year NHL veteran who has been with St. Louis for the past two years, had 22 goals and 46 assists for 68 points in 60 games last season.

The deal was disclosed in a news release Wednesday by the NHL Players Association.

Blues general manager Larry Pleau had hoped for a better deal for the team, but knows that anything can happen in arbitration.

"You know that going in," Pleau said. "There are no surprises."

"Your expectations of the player don't change, regardless of the dollar figure. He's been a good player for all of his career. We expect the same performance from him that he's given us in the past."

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