The St. Louis Blues announced on Thursday that they have re-signed defenseman Vince Dunn to a one-year contract that will pay him $1.875 million for the 2020-21 season.
By doing so, the Blues should have most of their roster set for the season and have some extra clarity regarding their salary cap situation for this season.
Dunn was the last of the Blues’ RFA’s to re-sign this offseason, and the one-year contract coming in at under $2 million seems like it is a complete bargain for the Blues given how well the 24-year-old defenseman has played so far in his career. In three years with the team Dunn has scored 26 goals and 82 total points in 224 regular season games, while also posting fantastic possession numbers. He is a very good player, and should get a bigger role on this year’s blue line.
[Related: PHT’s 2020 NHL Free Agent Tracker]
The contract seems very similar to the one-year deal Kevin Labanc took with the Sharks before the 2019-20 season, where the team and player come to terms on a very team-friendly one-year deal that sets the stage for a bigger contract the following offseason. Labanc followed up that one-year contract with a four-year, $16 million contract.
Prior to signing Dunn the Blues were slightly over the $81.5 million salary cap for the season, and had just signed veteran free agent forward Mike Hoffman to a professional tryout contract. The understanding with Hoffman was that the tryout was simply a paperwork move until the salary cap situation with Dunn and their use of LTIR become official. The Blues are going to start the season with Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Steen on the LTIR list. Steen will not play again, but Tarasenko and his $7.5 million contract will eventually return to the lineup. Because of that, they had to make sure Hoffman and Dunn were not taking up too much salary cap space that it would put them over when he does return.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.