QUESTION: Is there any chance the Blues will not get T.J. Oshie and David Perron re-signed before they become restricted free agents this Sunday? If they do not get them signed before free agency, what is the danger the club could lose one or both of the players?
There’s a good chance the Blues will not have Oshie and Perron re-signed by Sunday, but there’s really no danger of losing either player.
Offer sheets are rare in the NHL, and in the event that Oshie and Perron receive one, the Blues are prepared to match them. Having a solid ownership situation makes it less of a risk than in recent years.
GM Doug Armstrong has said he wants to discuss a long-term contract with Oshie and I expect that will get done, before or after Sunday. The Blues also want to keep Perron but aren’t prepared to talk long-term because of a concussion that kept him out 97 games. That issue would seemingly also prevent other teams from putting eye-popping offer sheets on the table for Perron.
The offer sheets sound like more of a risk than they are. If the Blues want the player, they will keep him ... just might have to pay a little extra.
Both cases are interesting. I believe it’s time for the Blues to go multi-year with Oshie and give him a big boost. If they don’t buck up, there is an outside chance that another team could make an outsized UFA offer for him. The Blues went down this road with David Backes and the Canucks. But now that the franchise has stable new ownership, teams realize there is little chance the Note would allow Oshie to exit.
Perron is a trickier case. I believe a one-year deal is best for both sides with Perron coming back from a severe concussion. The Blues want protection from reinjury and Perron doesn’t want to sell himself short. He is one big goal-scoring year away from giant dollars. Bottom line: I see the team keeping both with Tom Stillman in place.
ANDY STRICKLAND (TrueHockey.com, KFNS)
Whether or not either player re-signs before July 1 remains to be seen, but I’m not sure it truly matters. The Blues are working on extensions with both Oshie and Perron and there will be lots of dialogue throughout this week. Both players have arbitration rights and if they choose to file it would close the door on any potential offer sheet from another club. If they were to sign an offer sheet the Blues are likely to match anyway. Outside of an unforeseen trade both players are expected to be on the Blues roster once training camp begins.
I suppose there’s a chance the Blues don’t get Oshie and Perron re-signed by the end of the month, though the history of NHL free agency says the market for restricted free agents is only there for players a team doesn’t want anymore. Those two still represent an economical alternative for the Blues. Continuity is important for the Blues at this point, and I don’t see talent in the pipeline that can take their place. So if the Blues want to improve on all the promise they showed last season, the answer is to sign them. Whatever they spend, it will be less than what they would have to spend on unrestricted free agents to replace them.