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Blues V Sharks Game 4

Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson and San Jose's Justin Braun get tangled up in Game 4 of the NHL's Western Conference Final at Enterprise Center. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson received a one-year, $3.1 million contract in an arbitration ruling handed down on Tuesday.

The amount falls fairly close to the midpoint of the numbers put out by the two sides in the case. The Blues had offered $2.3 million for Edmundson in a one-year deal and the player had countered at $4.2 million, after he made $3 million last season on a one-year deal reached shortly before he was to go to an arbitration hearing. Per capfriendly.com, the walkaway minimum for an arbitration ruling this season is $4,397,832, so the Blues have to accept the deal.

Edmundson will be an unrestricted free agent when the contract expires.

It's been a matter of bad timing for Edmundson. He was in line for a decent raise and a longer-term deal after the 2017-18 season, but with the team not making the playoffs that season, general manager Doug Armstrong said it would difficult to justify a raise, so the sides agreed to a one-year deal.

Now, Edmundson is coming off a season where the Blues won the Stanley Cup, but his season wasn't as good as the previous one, and he was a healthy scratch at times, including during the Stanley Cup Final with Boston, though he was in the lineup for the decisive Game 7. Further complicating matters was a less-than-expected increase in the salary cap and the unexpected need to give raises to players like Oskar Sundqvist.

Edmundson appeared in 64 regular-season games, with two goals and nine assists and 68 penalty minutes. He had one goal, six assists and 10 penalty minutes in 22 postseason games.

Edmundson's signing leaves the Blues with one unsigned player, center Ivan Barbashev. He's a restricted free agent without arbitration rights, so his choices are the Blues, the KHL or not playing. Barbashev made $863,333 last season in the final year of his entry-level deal. After a 14-goal season and positive reviews for his play centering the fourth line, he's probably looking to at least double that. Sundqvist also had a 14-goal season and got a four-year deal with an average annual value of $2.75 million.

The Blues have about $2.7 million left under the salary cap and need to keep a slight cushion in case of injuries and player callups and to have some room to make moves at the trade deadline.


Edmundson got a B- for his performance last season. Here's how his teammates fared

Tom Timmermann is a Blues beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.