The St. Louis Blues agreed to terms with center Patrik Berglund on a five-year deal worth $19.25 million. At 28-years-old, Berglund was in the final year of his contract and was set to become an un-restricted free agent at the end of this season.
Berglund is the second-highest goal scorer on the team with 17, behind Vladimir Tarasenko. The deal, which carries a $3.85 million cap hit, also comes with a partial no-trade clause according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.
“I love the city and have made a lot of good friends here. For me, it was for sure that I wanted to stay,” Berglund said. “I take a lot of pride in (wearing the Blue Note). This is where I want to be, and this is where I want to win the Cup. That’s the reason we’re here. I really believe this team is going in the right direction.”
St. Louis Blues head coach, Mike Yeo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he believes Berglund brings something special to the group.
“I feel between him and I that we’ve got something good going on here, and I think it started before I became the head coach. He’s got a real strong sense of what he is as a player, what he needs to do, what he needs to bring night after night, and when he does those things, he adds an awful lot to our group,” said Yeo.
Yeo took over from Ken Hitchcock at the beginning of the month and the team has caught fire ever since.
The Blues and general manager Doug Armstrong may be moving towards a buyer’s mentality if this Berglund deal is any indication.
Berglund hadn’t been a real consistent member of the Blues, but this year his stock has risen with his improved play.
He’s scored 16 goals since December 15, which is fourth-best in the league.
Last year wasn’t too kind for Berglund, who only saw action in 42 games with 10 goals due to an injured shoulder.
With Berglund locked up, St. Louis has a total of $60,494,167 committed to next years roster with Kevin Shattenkirk’s future undecided.
There are still rumors floating around about the future of the defenseman, but the Blues haven’t found a good trade partner at this time.
The Blues front office had a deal in place to trade Shattenkirk to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but he was unable to come to terms with the team on a long-term contract.
This is the second time Shattenkirk has vetoed a trade after failing to come to terms with his new team. This also happened in June of last year with the Edmonton Oilers.
The trade deadline is coming up on Wednesday so we’ll have to wait and see if the Blues choose to make any further moves.
Dealing Shattenkirk now puts St. Louis in a tricky position, especially with their solid play of late.
However, it’s likely the defenseman will not resign with St. Louis next season, so Armstrong has a tough decision to make as to whether to trade one of his team’s top assets or save him for a playoff run this year.
The asking price, which would likely include a top-line center to pair with Tarasenko and some young prospects doesn’t seem to be the problem to complete this trade.
Rather it’s the long term deal Shattenkirk is looking for that’s causing the hold-up. Shattenkirk wants a long-term deal with a playoff competitor and the details of the Tampa Bay trade aren’t known.
[Featured Image by Claus Anderson/Getty Images]