The Blues re-sign Jordan Binnington plus updates on Jake Gardiner, Brock Boeser, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues yesterday avoided salary arbitration with goaltender Jordan Binnington. The two sides agreed to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $4.4 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a very reasonable contract for Binnington. For the Blues, this doesn’t lock them in for too long with a player who has a very short (albeit impressive) body of work in the NHL. It also doesn’t put a big dent into their salary-cap payroll. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $7.1 million in cap room, with Joel Edmundson, Ivan Barbashev, and Oskar Sundqvist to re-sign.
For Binnington, it’s a healthy payraise over last season’s $650K. It also gives him the opportunity to become a UFA in two year’s time. If he builds upon this year’s performance, he’ll be in line for a more lucrative deal.
NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz examines why defenseman Jake Gardiner remains available in the unrestricted free agent market. Gardiner’s recent back injury could be a legitimate concern among interested clubs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In recent years it seems there’s always one player considered among the top UFAs who ends up taking longer to sign a contract, usually for much less than projected. That’s free agency under a hard salary cap.
When the free-agent market opens there’s usually several teams with plenty of money pursuing the top talent. Within a couple of days, however, most of the best players are signed and there aren’t as many teams with the cap space to invest in the remaining UFA talent. It’s almost like musical chairs. Now that the music has stopped, Gardiner finds himself without a seat.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton looks at what it might take for the Vancouver Canucks to get Brock Boeser under contract. The restricted free agent winger could get around $7.5 million per season.
SPORTSDAY: The Dallas Stars offseason moves have received high grades from many NHL observers. Their additions include Joe Pavelski, Corey Perry, and Andrej Sekera.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Vegas Golden Knights owner Tom Foley hopes to build a new aircraft hangar “to upgrade the way the executives behind the franchise and other companies he’s tied to travel.”