Brayden Schenn signs eight-year extension with Blues

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The St. Louis Blues are keeping an important piece of their championship team around for the foreseeable future. On Friday, the defending Stanley Cup Champions signed Brayden Schenn to an eight-year, $52 million contract extension.

The 28-year-old had 28 goals and 70 points in his first year with the Blues and 17 goals and 54 points in 72 games last season. Schenn added 12 points in 26 games during St. Louis’ run to the Stanley Cup.

Schenn was entering the final year of his contract ($5.125 million cap hit). That number will jump to $6.5 million per season starting next year.

Beyond his obvious statistical contributions, Schenn has also found a way to create offense during his time with the Blues. Check out his heat map for last season:

The Blues have now eliminated one of the two important potential unrestricted free agents. Now, they have to find a way to extend captain Alex Pietrangelo whose contract is also up. Veteran Jay Bouwmeester is also scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, but he’s not as high of a priority as Pietrangelo.

Things can change in a hurry, but as of right now St. Louis has $73.777 million committed to the cap. They currently have 11 forwards, four defensemen and two goalies under contract for next year. The salary cap is currently set at $81.5 million and it should go up at least a little bit heading into 2020-21. Still, the Blues have to re-sign some restricted free agents and they need to ice a full roster. General manager Doug Armstrong will have to make some tweaks to fit everyone under the cap.

Keep in mind, Armstrong traded for Justin Faulk and then signed him to a seven-year deal with an AAV of $6.5 million. Paying Faulk and Schenn before working out a deal with Pietrangelo is an interesting strategy, but there’s still plenty of time for the two sides to figure it out before July 1st.

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.