One day after the two biggest free agents agreed to 13-year contracts in Minnesota, the Blues wrapped up negotiations with one of their young stars and will likely head to arbitration with another.
David Perron and the St. Louis Blues came to terms on a four-year, $15.25 million contract, Pierre LeBrun is reporting.
Perron is perhaps the Blues’ most potent offensive threat. He has some of the best hands, and he’s adept at scoring as well as setting up his other forwards. He missed all but 10 games two seasons ago due to a concussion sustained in a game against the San Jose Sharks, then he missed the first quarter of last season due to the lingering effects. He came back to play 57 games and still managed to set a career high in goals (21) and +/- (19).
Should he manage to avoid any further head injuries, this could be an incredible deal for the Blues. 42 points in 57 games would have put him on pace for 30 goals and 30 assists in a full season. He’s still just 24, so it’s likely his best hockey is still ahead of him.
In other news, the Blues are expected to go to arbitration with forward TJ Oshie. Oshie had a solid campaign last season, scoring 19 goals and 35 assists, and his 54 points tied him for the Blues’ team lead with David Backes.
So, what to make of it? Well, it’s a good sign they’re going to arbitration in the sense that Oshie wants to remain a Blue, and the team wants to keep him. On the other hand, if they’re pretty far apart, it could get a bit messy if they end up going to arbitration. Typically, though, teams and players are able to avoid an arbitrator, so I’m cautiously optimistic a deal will be done to keep Oshie here for a few more years.
With the signing of Ryan Suter, the Wild took perhaps the top defenseman off the market. The Blues are still looking to sign a top-four defenseman to anchor the blueline. While I would have loved to see Suter wear a Bluenote, I think eventually Minnesota’s gonna regret either his contract or Zach Parise’s, both of which were for 13 years, $98 million, with an AAV (average annual value) of $7.5 million.
David Freese Named to All-Star Roster
In other St. Louis sports news, David Freese won the final election to the 2012 MLB All-Star roster, receiving more than 8.4 million votes. Rookie pitcher Yu Darvish earned the AL spot, earning 7.3 million votes. Freese is having another solid season, as he’s currently slashing .285/.333/.475 and has hit 13 home runs and driven in 50 runs. Freese got off to a scorching start in April before cooling off in May, but he’s come on as of late, slashing .375/.423/.417 in his last 12 games. While he’s never been considered a strong defender, he does rank second this season in fielding percentage (.978), third in assists (135), and he ranks above average in terms of range factor. While I concede he rightfully didn’t win the starting spot, the actual starter, Pablo Sandoval, ranks well below Freese this year in my book.
Freese’s addition makes five Cardinals on the All-Star roster, something which should make Dusty Baker very happy.