ST. LOUIS – A busy first hour of NHL free agency for the St. Louis Blues. After signing Robert Thomas to the richest deal in franchise history, the Blues also bring back a veteran defenseman.

Nick Leddy has agreed to a four-year, $16 million with the Blues. He is the first unrestricted free agent to sign with the Blues this offseason.

Leddy proved to be steady after the Blues acquired him in a trade deadline deal last year, scoring eight points in 20 games and logging around 21 minutes of ice time per game. His services are coveted by a Blues team seeking a boost on the left side of the defense for the last several years.

The St. Louis Blues will be tasked with some tough decisions with up to eight others in their system now able test free agency, including 15-year veteran forward David Perron. The NHL free agent market officially opened at 11 a.m. CT on Wednesday.