David Perron is the newest member of the St. Louis Blues with a deal that will see him earn $4 million over the next four seasons.
Despite showing interest in returning, after the Vegas Golden Knights and David Perron realized they weren’t going to be able to come to terms on a deal that would keep the forward in Vegas, Perron hit the open market of NHL Free Agency and became a player to watch — a player that was likely to get overpaid based on a 2017-18 season that saw him earn 66 points in 70 games. With four years and four million, it’s coming as a surprise to many that Vegas wouldn’t have kept Perron under those terms. The fourth year must have been the sticking point for the Golden Knights.
During the NHL interview period and leading up to Sunday, July 1, Perron was rumored to have spoken to as many as five teams. The Arizona Coyotes, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues and New Jersey Devils were believed to be among them. St. Louis won the bidding war and Perron is now a member of the Blues organization, again.
The Story Behind the Possible Overpayment
Every year free agents are rewarded handsomely for hitting the market with some earning far too much versus their perceived value. Perron was in a category with a few other players who were likely to be well overpaid based on the long-term look of his past performances. His 66 points in 70 games for the Golden Knights have been viewed as an outlier and not the norm and while any team would have paid for what he brought to Vegas in 2017-18, most insiders believe he is unlikely to repeat such a performance. Usually good for 15-20 goals, Perron saw his assists tally rise to 50, resulting in a near point-per-game season. He is unlikely to post those types of numbers again.
Perron, 30, will be 34 by the time this deal comes to a close. And, while unrestricted free agents tend to be paid viewed on what they’ll provide at the front-end of their deals (not the back end), Perron has never scored more than 57 points in an NHL season prior to his last one. His average — Perron is already an 11-year NHL veteran — is more around the 40-50 point range, thus this deal could have had the potential to be qualified as one of the more overpaid of this year’s free agency class.
Related: 2018 NHL Free Agent Signing Tracker
Did the Blues Get a Deal?
Perron’s value as a top-six forward is undeniable with strong showings in St. Louis, Edmonton, and Anaheim. He should bring immediate scoring punch back to tSt. Louis along with grit, a little bit of attitude and the ability to be a pest. And, while some will argue that Perron was about to be massively overpaid, most will have to argue this deal is reflective of what he should be getting, maybe even better value.
The only question here is, will Perron be deployed in much the same way he was the first time around in St. Louis? Perron was often viewed as a defensive specialist with only 44% offensive zone starts, while in Vegas, that number rose to 54%. Perron also played with better goal scorers in Vegas than he had in year’s past and should he be deployed the way he was in Vegas, Perron could provide another offensive season that will make this signing look like a steal.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”