Keith Tkachuk, the savvy forward who helped lead St. Louis to the NHL playoffs for the first time since 2004, will be back for another year with the Blues.

"Keith is a veteran leader who played a key role with our club's success this past season," Blues president John Davidson said yesterday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Tkachuk, 37, is a five-time all-star who has spent eight of his 17 NHL seasons with the Blues, though he was traded to Atlanta for 18 games at the end of the 2006-07 season before re-signing with St. Louis.

In 2008-09, he had 25 goals, 24 assists and 61 penalty minutes. He has 525 goals and 508 assists for his career, along with 2,163 penalty minutes.

Phoenix sale. Hundreds of fans rallied in Hamilton, Ontario, to show support for billionaire Jim Balsillie's efforts to bring an NHL franchise to the city.

Balsillie's bid for the Phoenix Coyotes was rejected by an Arizona bankruptcy judge. The Coyotes have asked the judge to set a Sept. 15 deadline for the sale of the financially troubled team.

Meanwhile, the Coyotes re-signed left winger Petr Prucha to a two-year contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Panthers sign Reinprecht. Center Steven Reinprecht signed a three-year contract with the Panthers after Phoenix traded his rights to Florida for left winger Stefan Meyer.