Patrik Berglund was the best representative from the St. Louis Blues in the World Championships, helping Sweden take home the silver medal thanks to an impressive eight goals and 10 points. Now the focus shifts back to the United States where Berglund will have to wait and see which direction the St. Louis Blues decide to go with his contract.
Berglund is one member of a fairly lengthy list of restricted free agents that the organization will have to make a decision on prior to the July 1st free agency period. At the very least the Blues will have to extend a qualifying offer in order to prevent Berglund from becoming an unrestricted free agent that can test the open market.
Coming off an extremely impressive performance at the World Championships and a 2010-11 season that saw the forward net a new career-high in goals (22) and points (52), it’d only make sense that the Blues will do what it takes to keep him in the mix.
The belief is that Berglund may just be a tweak or two away from a huge breakout performance, a performance that fans have been expecting since his outstanding rookie season (21 goals, 26 assists) in 2008-09.
With unanswered questions still hanging over the ownership of the club, the Blues really can’t afford to let it get to a point where other teams can throw their hat into the ring for the young Swedish talent.
Assuming Berglund still desires to play in St. Louis, we could see him signing a new contract that would resemble the deal David Perron (two years, $4.3 million) signed during the summer of 2010. Perron’s 2009-10 season (20 goals, 27 assists) was very similar to Berglund’s 2010-11 performance which is why a similar offer is likely in store.
While the team’s list of restricted and unrestricted free agents is pretty large, we can safely assume with a fair degree of certainty that the Blues will do what it takes in order to secure their young talent, such as the discussed Berglund and T.J. Oshie. While the organization waits for a new owner to step forward, the current group has stated that they won’t implode the current roster – an event we have seen take place in other cities. However, while they have stated they won’t implode the roster, that doesn’t mean there won’t be difficult decisions made that could upset some fans.
Obviously the Blues have plenty of questions to answer both in regards to ownership and contracts which should make this summer an extremely exciting one to follow. All of us here at The Hockey Writers will continue to give not only the news, but our opinion and analysis on each and every story that breaks over the course of the summer.