Patrick Berglund has agreed to a 1 year contract in principle at $3.25 million. He will still be an RFA after the contract is up.
My thoughts on this deal? No complaints.
Berglund is an enigma of sorts, he has the ability to be an immovable tank or just simply a ghost. Berglund's tenure thus far in the note has been a rollercoaster ride, literally. Coming off a brilliant rookie season where he put up 47 points, us Blues fans thought him to be our future #1 center. Then next season rolls around and he manages only 26 points. Were we too hasty? Perhaps it was a sophomore slump? Regardless, 2 season was a short sample size so a 3rd season would be needed to see what we really had in the Swedish center. And of course, Berglund has an excellent season of 52 points, and once again Blues fans are lead to believe that maybe Berglund is the real deal. Berglund signs a 2 year "prove-it" contract, something that a lot of RFA's do to prove that they're worthy of the big money. So Berglund's 4th season in the NHL rolls around, and to no one's surprise it is less than spectacular. It was pretty clear then that Berglund was simply too inconsistent to be considered an offensive threat.
This season, Berglund was on and off for the most part. Despite his 17 goals this season, he had 3 in his last 13 regular season games, and 4 in his last 20. That right there pretty much sums up Berglund's career so far. Add to that he was almost a no-show in the playoffs, and it makes me wonder if Berglund is a core piece moving forward for the Blues. He's clearly not our #1 center, and I don't think he's consistent enough to be warranted a spot in the top 6. He's a perfect fit for the 3C, but are third line centers really considered core pieces? Debatable. Berglund is in a position where his job is relatively secure thanks to the Blues lack of NHL caliber centers, but I do believe he can be moved for the right price. Armstrong is a patient man, but how much more can he tolerate Berglund's inconsistencies?
The contract itself isn't a bad contract at all. 1 year term means no harm in the future, and Berglund is still an RFA when it ends, increasing his value slightly. I do think this is Berglund's last chance to prove that he can be a consistent force for the Blues. Should his play suffer this year, Berglund is on the next plane out. Should he find success, he will be rewarded with a long term contract. Either way, I trust Armstrong will make the right decision.
Now that Berglund is dealt with, Armstrong's focus shifts now to Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk, and Stewart. With the Bryzgalov buyout earlier today, Philly has more cap room to make an offer sheet to our premier young defensemen putting more pressure on Armstrong to get the two signed quickly. My guess is Shattenkirk will be the next one signed to a contract similar to Slava Voynov's, perhaps a lower cap hit but same term.
Also wanna say congrats to the Blackhawks for their Stanley Cup victory, even as a Blues fans I think the Hawks deserve recognition for their play this year. Apologies for my hiatus, certain things came up which hindered my ability to post a blog up.
Until next time folks!