Wednesday, November 1, 2017

St Louis Blues 15 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era


UPDATED: JULY 2018

What are the St Louis Blues 15 best and 15 worst non-entry level contracts they have signed since the NHL had a salary cap? 

BEST

1- Alex Pietrangelo, Sept 13 2013, 7 years $45.5M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. He has grown into a Norris caliber defenseman. You generally can't find franchise D like this on the free agent market. As the salary continues to grow, this has become a sensational bargain. Over the first 5 seasons, his point totals were 51, 46, 37, 48, and 54.

2- Vladimir Tarasenko, July 7 2015, 8 years $60M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. Back in 2015 this seemed a bit pricey, but after 79 goals over the first 2 seasons it’s looking like a bargain. This is the same contract that Kucherov should have received last year.

3- David Backes, July 1 2008, 3 years $7.5M: Signed by Larry Pleau. The Blues GM has the Vancouver Canucks to thank for this bargain contract that produced 164 PTS in 243 GP. The offer sheet may have been scorned by the team at the time, but Mike Gillis did them a favour. Backes had a career high 62 PTS in year three at age 26.

4- Kevin Shattenkirk, July 26 2013, 4 years $17M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. They got 189 PTS in 289 GP from the blueline at a very fair price. His next contract proved to be very expensive.

5- TJ Oshie, July 19 2012, 5 years $20.9M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. 329 GP and 242 PTS averaging over 19m of ice time per game is a good deal for just over $4M AAV. He probably also helped St Louis pick up several wins in the shootout over that span.

6- Jaden Schwartz, July 15 2016, 5 years $26.7M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. Schwartz has proven to be a dynamic offensive player when healthy. At the beginning of the 2017/18 season he was part of the best line in hockey until he was injured. He's entering what should be his prime years of production and should still have a career season left in the tank.

7- David Backes, Nov 12 2010, 5 years $22.5M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. Not quite the bargain of his previous contract, but he still produced 242 PTS, 850 shots, 1123 hits, and a +45 rating in 363 GP. He did drop down to 45 PTS in year five at age 31.

8- Alex Steen, July 1 2010, 4 years $13.4M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. That’s a good price for 168 PTS, including 62 in year four.

9- Vladimir Sobotka, June 15 2011, 3 years $3.9M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. If you can get 78 PTS for $3.9M, that's a win. He’s a good two-way player who can play in all situations. He bolted to Russia at the end of this contract.

10- Colton Parayko, July 20 2017, 5 years $27.5M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. Year one saw the young blueliner put up 35 PTS. He should still have his best years ahead of him at a very fair price.

11- Brian Elliot, May 19 2014, 3 years $7.5M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. He was not good enough to take the Blues deep in the playoffs, but he was more than good enough to earn every penny of that contract… in the regular season anyway….

12- TJ Oshie, June 30 2011, 1 year $2.4M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. He scored 54 PTS and 19 Goals in 80 GP on a discounted bridge deal.

13- Erik Johnson, Aug 2 2010, 2 years $5.2M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. That’s a good price considering he scored 39 PTS on the last year of his entry level contract, even if his production did drop to 29 and 26 PTS over these 2 seasons.

14- Jaroslav Halak, July 6 2010, 4 years $15M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. 83 wins and 47 losses is good value at that price. He had to share the net with Elliot, which did suppress his totals. But he was mostly good when he played.

15- Matt D’Agostini, June 18 2010, 1 year $550K: Signed by Larry Pleau. He scored a career high 40 PTS this season for close to the league minimum salary. St. Louis rewarded him with a big pay raise that you can see below on their worst contracts list.

WORST

1- Jay Bouwmeester, Aug 2 2013, 5 years $27M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. He scored 37 PTS the season before signing this contract, then scored just 13 PTS in year one, 19 PTS in year two, and 15 PTS in year three. He’s got 2 years left at age 33 and is not the player he used to be.

2- Jay McKee, July 1st 2006, 4 years $16M: Signed by Larry Pleau. He scored 16 PTS the season before signing this contract, then put up 0, 9, 8 PTS over the first 3 seasons before being bought out.

3- Jori Lehtera, July 1 2015, 3 years $14.1M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. In year one at age 28 he scored 22 PTS in 64 GP. After that he was traded with a 1st round pick for Brayden Schenn, probably as a throw-in to make cap space. Year two was a disaster, scoring 8 PTS in 62 GP, missing games as a healthy scratch.

4- Chris Stewart, July 19 2013, 2 years $8.3M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. He scored 36 PTS in 48 GP in the lockout shortened season before signing this contract. He dropped to 26 PTS in 63 GP in year one. In year two he was -26.

5- Eric Brewer, Feb 24 2007, 4 years $17M: Signed by Larry Pleau. Accounting for cap inflation that AAV is closer to $6M. His offensive production was negligible. For that kind of money, you want more than 15 PTS in a season. He was -43 over the span of this contract.

6- Steve Ott, July 10 2014, 2 years $5.2M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. He scored just 14 PTS in 99 GP for St. Louis under this contract. By age 32 he did not have much left in the tank.

7- Jordan Leopold, July 3 2013, 2 years $4.5M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. Leopold was pretty much done when he signed this contract at age 33. He scored 10 PTS in 70 GP over 2 seasons and did not sign another NHL contract after this one.

8- Paul Stastny, July 1 2014, 4 years $28M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. By all accounts Stastny was a good player for the Blues (188 PTS in 286 GP) and was shipped out of town at the end of this contract for a 1st round pick. He’s on this list because $7M AAV was simply too much money for a player who topped 50 PTS just once in these 4 seasons.

9- Derek Roy, July 6 2013, 1 year $4M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. He scored just 37 PTS in 75 GP at age 30 and was out of the league a year later.

10- Barret Jackman, June 18 2012, 3 years $9.5M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. Jackman was not an NHL player because of his offensive prowess, so the Blues were never expecting scoring. However his average ice time shrank each season over the age of 30 as his usefulness gradually diminished. Over these three seasons his average ice time was 19.3, 17.9, and 16.8.

11- Magnus Paajarvi, Aug 2 2013, 2 years $2.4M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. Paajarvi scored 13 PTS in 63 GP over two seasons in the NHL. He was much better in the AHL, scoring 33 PTS in 41 GP.

12- Doug Weight, July 2 2006, 2 years $7M: Signed by Larry Pleau. He was good in year one with 59 PTS in 82 GP. Year two saw him score just 25 PTS in 67 GP. That AAV would have been over $6M adjusted for a $79M salary cap.

13- Martin Rucinsky, Aug 2 2006, 2 years $4.8M: Signed by Larry Pleau. This was Rucinsky’s last NHL contract. In year two he scored just 16 PTS in 40 GP.

14- Jake Allen, July 1 2016, 4 years $17.4M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. The season before signing this contract, Allen put up a 2.42 GAA and .915 SV%. Then in year one he fell flat on his face with a 2.75 GAA and .906 SV% while losing his starting job to Carter Hutton.

15- Matt D’Agostini, July 1 2011, 2 years $3.3M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. They overpaid for his career year of 40 PTS and he never came close to that point total again. He was traded to New Jersey in year two and only played one more season in the NHL after this.

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