Latest news on the impending St. Louis Blues UFAs
When it comes to icing a competitive roster every season, the St. Louis Blues and general manager Doug Armstrong are hard to count, and in theory the same should be true for 2022-23. However, Armstrong and the Blues have a tricky task ahead of them this offseason: trying to re-sign or replace four key UFAs this offseason, while re-signing two regular RFAs. Earlier today, Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic, who covers the Blues, provided updates on the status of the four impending UFAs (subscription required).
On the veteran striker David Peron, Rutherford writes that the two parties are not close to an agreement, but nothing has changed in the desire of the two parties to meet again. Rutherford points to an interesting, but perhaps unfortunate fact for Perron: He signed five multi-year deals during his NHL career and played for five NHL teams, but those five contracts were all with St. Louis. . Now 34, with 15 NHL seasons and a Stanley Cup under his belt, Perron will likely be looking for stability and although he did, and ultimately did not, have that in St. Louis, he It would be predictable that he could ask for some kind of tight no-move clause, but these have been a key sticking point in Armstrong’s negotiations in the past. When asked, Armstrong did not reveal the status of the negotiations, but Rutherford adds that a source familiar with the negotiations informed him that the offer is likely for two years at an AAV much lower than Perron would like.
Escape Guardian City Husso, after only his second NHL season, is expected to hit the UFA market and, as Rutherford writes, is unlikely to return to St. Louis. Rutherford adds that Husso and the Blues will start some sort of dialogue shortly, but the team could be barred from re-signing him, with The Athletic predicting a $4.1m AAV for the 27-year-old. That number is technically within the Blues’ range given their cap space, but given Jordan Biningtonthe rebounding performance of and the emergence of a young goalkeeper Joel Hofer in the AHL, St. Louis might ultimately be better off focusing their cap space to meet needs, rather than perhaps creating a blockage in the net.
Nick LeddyThe value of in the open market seems to be a popular topic of debate, and rightly so. A young Leddy compiled several good seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks before being traded to the New York Islanders, having another great season before a seven-year, $38.5 million extension to Long Island. The defenseman suffered several years of decline before relaunching his career as a stable defenseman who excelled in transition under Barry Trotz, but was traded to the Detroit Red Wings in the summer of 2021 to ease cap issues for the Islanders . Leddy struggled in Detroit, but was dealt with again, landing with the Blues where he appeared to return to form.
His struggles in Detroit appear to have weighed on his value, with The Athletic only projecting a salary of $1.7 million next season, with Rutherford recounting that up to Leddy’s time in Detroit, adding that Leddy is seeking a four-year contract. or five years at around $5. MM per season. Whether he achieves his goal or not, that price may prove too expensive for the Blues, with Rutherford adding that a discount, rooted in the comfort of playing for the Blues, would be what it would take to keep Leddy in the fold. most likely, although this is not expected.
Finally, Rutherford discusses Tyler Bozak, who had signed a one-year, $750,000 contract with incentive for the 2021-22 season. Bozak has had more limited time and production since arriving in St. Louis compared to his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but his ability to play a full 200-foot game combined with his leadership on and off the ice, has makes him a much-appreciated asset to St. Louis. Still, Rutherford says while Bozak may have a similar deal for next season, a return is unlikely given the striker’s emergence Alexei Toropchenkore-sign Logan Brownand a full-time start of Jake Neighbors.
At $9 million in cap space, St. Louis is going to be forced to make tough decisions and must also consider two RFAs this summer at defensemen Niko Mikkola and Scott Perunovitch. Plus, all of this goes without mentioning their 2023 free agent class of which they should be aware, which includes the likes of Jordan Kyrou and thomas robert on the FRG side and Ivan Barbaschev, Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko on the UFA side.