The St. Louis Blues will have both of their trade deadline acquisitions in the lineup next season.
On Wednesday, the club announced it re-signed defenseman Jordan Leopold to a two-year, $4.5 million deal, one that carries an average annual cap hit of $2.25 million.
Leopold, 32, came to St. Louis from Buffalo in April for a pair of picks at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, and proceeded to score two points in 15 regular season games with the Blues, averaging 18:22 TOI.
The 10-year veteran also appeared in all six of St. Louis’ postseason games, averaging 16:33 per contest.
The Leopold signing coincides with St. Louis putting Kris Russell on waivers yesterday.
The Blues now have seven defensemen under contract for next season — including Jay Bouwmeester, St. Louis’ other big defensive trade deadline acquisition — and still need to reach a deal with RFA Alex Pietrangelo.
Here’s more on the Russell situation, from TrueHockey’s Andy Strickland:
With St. Louis sending Russell his qualifying offer the team finds themselves in a tough spot. If he goes unclaimed he’ll have the option of accepting the Blues $1.3 million QO or taking the club to arbitration. He could receive even more than $1.3 million in an arbitration case.
Russell could fetch $2 million in arbitration and the Blues would be stuck paying him. Under the new CBA teams can’t walk away from any award below $3.5 million.
It goes without saying they’ve looked into trading the player and appear to have come up empty.
Strickland also notes the Blues have offered Russell $1.5 million for next season.