QUESTION: Now that the Blues have David Perron locked up to a four-year, $15.25 million contract, do you see them signing T.J. Oshie to a similar contract?
The Blues will lock up Oshie soon and likely to a long-term deal. He has filed for arbitration and the Blues won’t want to let the decision on a player who shared the team lead in points last year and whom the team has raved about rest in the hands of the arbitrator.
I was surprised by the term of Perron’s contract in both years and dollars. But the Blues had to pay more if they wanted Perron past two more years, when he could have become an unrestricted free agent.
Oshie is in a similar situation. I think he’ll get a four- or five-year deal and I think it’ll average a little more than Perron, probably around $4.25 million. He’s not been healthy his entire career and he hasn’t produced a lot of points but his value to the team is obvious.
Oshie tied for the team lead in points last season, but he has yet to score as many as 20 goals in a season. Oshie and Perron are different types, in that Oshie plays a more respected all-around game. Essentially, yes, I see the Blues signing Oshie a to a similar contract. A four-year deal in the neighborhood of $3.5 - $4 million is probably about right. Perron’s contract sets the bar.
The arbitration process can strain the relationship between a player and his team, so it would be in everybody’s best interest to resolve this matter with a longer-term contract. Oshie has more value than Perron, given Perron’s concussion history, so he should command a greater average salary over the course of his next deal. The prices for talent are only going up, so the Blues ought to take the plunge now that stable new ownership is in place.
It will be interesting to see how the dollar figures compare between the Oshie deal and the Perron deal, to see their comparative value to the organization (or the comparative negotiating skill of their agents). But a four-year deal seems about right, considering where they are in their careers and I would think the dollar figures wouldn’t differ by all that much. The two obviously aren’t interchangeable, but their value to the team seems fairly comparable to me.