While I think that the team could probably use a few more forwards who fall under the “slick” category, it’s hard not to like the St. Louis Blues’ budding group of near-to-full-on bruisers. That group includes TJ Oshie, David Backes and David Perron.
The Blues announced today that they re-signed RFA Perron to a two-year deal. Beat writer Jeremy Rutherford reports that the deal is worth $4.3 million, with the young forward receiving $1.8 million in his first year and $2.5 million in the second campaign. Perron’s cap hit will come out to $2.15 million per season for the next two years. Perron actually broke the news on his Twitter account, which might be a first.
Currently 22 years old, Perron will still be a restricted free agent once this deal expires (an NHL player must be 27 to reach UFA status). That means that he’ll once again be an RFA in the summer of 2012.
Perron put up a slightly better year statistically in 08-09 (50 points, +13 rating) than he did last season (47 points, -10 rating). Still, that might have as much to do with his team’s inferior play than it does with his own efforts. He did hit a career high in goals scored with 20, besting his mark of 15 in 08-09. The Blues put some of his achievements in context compared to his teammates.
Overall, the 6-0, 200-pound left-winger ranked third on the Blues in goals, tied for third in both game-winning goals (two) and power play goals and sixth in both assists (27) and shots (166).
The Blues have quite the affordable trio of power forwards in the making, at least for the next season. Along with Perron ($2.15 million cap hit), the team has Backes (2.5) and Oshie (1.275) wrapped up for one more year at bargain prices. Actually, St. Louis has a generally cheap roster overall; not many teams can say that their highest paid player (Andy McDonald) is only making $4.7 million per year.
Even though their roster seems largely in place, the team lost veterans Paul Kariya and Keith Tkachuk to free agency and retirement respectively. Might they want to add a little bit of extra skill to their lineup in the form of, say, Alex Frolov? I think it would at least be worth consideration for a team with an astounding $17 million-plus in cap space.
Either way, with an OK group of forwards and defensemen plus a nice combo of Jaroslav Halak and Ty Conklin in net, the Blues are building something solid right now.