The St. Louis Blues have a healthy amount of cap space and some moderate, primarily depth-related needs, but they might be inactive in Day 1 of the free agent period. That’s because Blues GM Doug Armstrong plans to remain in a holding pattern until the team’s negotiations with restricted free agent Vladimir Tarasenko has come to a resolution.
“We’ll talk to our own restricted free agents, but we’re going to stay away from the unrestricteds until we find out what Vladi’s intentions are,” Armstrong told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “If we can find the depth player that we want, we’re going to fill out our roster. But as far as making a significant addition to our team, we’re not looking for a top-five defenseman or a top-10 forward until we get Vladi done.”
Part of the reason for that position is to guard against the threat of an offer sheet. Armstrong doesn’t think Tarasenko will end up signing one, but as long as the Blues don’t indulge in the UFA or trade markets, they’re in a position to match any contract another team puts in front of the 23-year-old star forward.
While offer sheets are rare, the threat of one seems to have guided the trade market recently. In the last week we’ve seen Boston ship Dougie Hamilton to Calgary and Chicago trade Brandon Saad to Columbus.
Meanwhile, forwards Olli Jokinen and Marcel Goc as well as defensemen Zbynek Michalek and Barret Jackman are among the players that St. Louis is letting test the unrestricted free agent waters.
Cole, who was acquired by the Pens from the Blues in March, appeared in 20 regular season games for Pittsburgh scoring a goal and eight points to go along with a minus-2 rating while averaging 18:29 in time on ice.
The 6-foot-1, 219-pound blue liner also appeared in five playoff games with the Pens registering two assists while averaging 23 minutes in ice time.
So happy to be married to the best girl in the world & to head back to Pitt for the next 3 years. We're excited for what the future holds!
Without knowing about skating ability, if someone asked you which NFL player’s style would make the most sense as a hockey player, Houston Texas defensive dynamo (OK, lineman) J.J. Watt might just be the first name that comes to mind.
Check PHT every day until June 30 for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…
He set new career-highs in 2014-15 with seven goals and 36 points in 78 contests, which is in a way remarkable given how rough his reunion with Nashville went. The 27-year-old defenseman already had 32 points in 55 games with Toronto before he was sent to the Predators on Feb. 15 along with Mike Santorelli in exchange for Olli Jokinen, Brendan Leipsic, and what turned out to be the 24th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft (later traded to Philadelphia and used to draft Travis Konecny).
At the time, Nashville was leading the Presidents’ Trophy race and setting the stage for what it hoped would be a lengthy playoff run. Nashville struggled following the trade though and Franson was limited to just 15:25 minutes per contest after averaging 21:23 minutes in Toronto.
A $60 million contract over eight years would garner a cap hit of $7.5 million. Matt Duchene, in contrast, has a cap hit of $6 million. Paul Stastny left Colorado last summer for St. Louis, where he signed a four-year deal with a cap hit of $7 million.