The St. Louis Blues won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history last June, thanks, in part, to having a very deep lineup with talent on all four lines. Today, they looked up an important piece of that championship-winning team by signing forward Brayden Schenn to a contract extension.
General manager Doug Armstrong announced Friday morning that the Blues have agreed to a new deal with Schenn for eight years worth a total of $52 million. The 28-year-old center is now locked up through the end of the 2027-28 season and his new salary-cap hit of $6.5 million will go into effect next season.
Trade Pays Off for the Blues
The Blues paid a pretty hefty price to acquire Schenn from the Philadelphia Flyers back in June of 2017. They gave up a pair of first-round draft picks and Jori Lehtera to land his services and it has paid off for them. The Flyers turned those picks into Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee.
In his first season with the Blues, Schenn played in all 82 games scoring a career-high 28 goals and 70 points. He was named an NHL All-Star for the first time in his career.
He had a bit of a dip in production in 2018-19 scoring with 17 goals and 54 points, but he also missed 10 games due to injury. He scored five goals and 12 points during the postseason, helping the Blues finish off their improbable run with a Stanley Cup parade in June. Three of those goals came in the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins, including one in Game 7.
Schenn has played in a total of 588 career regular-season games in the NHL. He has scored 154 goals and added 218 assists. An eight-year deal might be a bit lofty for a player who is 28, but the $6.5 million cap hit is very reasonable in today’s market. At least it will be for the first half of the deal.
Pierre LeBrun TSN and The Athletic had the breakdown of Schenn’s contract as far as what he will actually make each season.
Armstrong Has Work to do This Offseason
The Blues now have much of their core from last year’s team locked up for at least the next three seasons. Vladimir Tarasenk, Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron, Oskar Sundqvist and Colton Pararyko are all signed through at least the 2021-22 season.
The Schenn deal could be problematic for the Blues next summer when it comes to getting a new contract done for captain Alex Pietrangelo. Armstrong made more than few people in the hockey world scratch their heads when he gave newcomer Justin Faulk a seven-year, $45.5 million contract moments after acquiring him in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Blues have 11 forwards, four defensemen and two goaltenders signed for the 2020-21 season for a total of $73.77 million. The current salary cap is at $81.5 million and it should get a minimum raise of a million dollars or two before next season. This gives Armstrong around $10 million to work with next season.
Besides getting a new contract done for Pietrangelo, he also needs to deal with a group of restricted free agents that includes Sammy Blais, Vince Dunn, Robby Fabbri and Mackenize MacEachern. Veteran defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will also be an unrestricted free agent after this season, but he may become a salary cap casualty.
Armstrong can now look at the Stanley Cup banner every time he walks into the Enterprise Center, but he has a lot of work ahead of him if he wants to add to his collection.