Today Doug Armstrong decided to pull the trigger on signing 27 year old goaltender Jordan Binnington to a 6 year, $36 million contract. Cue the song “Sunday Best” by Surfaces and you’ll know how we fans feel about it. While the overwhelming majority of us are completely content with the contract extension for JB, there has to be some doubt behind the signing, let’s go over the good, the bad and the unknown for what has been and what’s to become of Binnington.
The Good: Let’s start by remembering back to January 2019. The Blues are in dead last in the West, no hope in sight and certainly no playoff aspirations. A shot in the dark bringing up a 26 year old rookie turns out to be the start of one of the greatest Cinderella stories in sports history, nothing short of immaculate and inconceivable run to a Stanley Cup on Jordan Binnington’s back! Binnington has been one of the pillars of success since the turnaround 2 short seasons ago. Since JB’s debut, he has started in 99 games, winning 63 of them with a .916 Save Percentage and 2.37 Goals Against Average. Not only the stats, but Binnington brings a fire and confidence that the team needs. Sometimes this fire can get him in some hot water (go watch the tape from San Jose just 2 weeks ago), but not a problem if the boys need a pick-me-up between periods or during a game. The last major advantage is his age, at 27 with very little NHL experience and stress on the body – relative to his NHL counterparts in net – can bode well for the Blues long term over 6 years. Oh and did I mention he literally carried the Blues to a cup in 2019? Who’s to say that can’t be the case again?
The Bad: JB has shown over the course of this season, thus far, that the consistency is not exactly there. There have been games where he looks like a world beater, and other nights where he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. The inconsistency must subside, we need someone who can make the routine save and just be a backstop guarantee 55-65 games a year and right now, that’s up in the air with Binnington. Remember when we talked about the “fire in the gut” in the positive section? Well, that can also prove to be a downfall if you spin in that way. Binnington’s “No nonsense” approach to the game can lead to penalties, lost composure and show signs of breaking confidence. When your goalie goes after 3 players from the opposing team after letting up a touchdown, it’s safe to say sometimes you’re dealing with an insane person. Learning to take your losses on the chin and taking a seat on the pine won’t make the boys any less confident in you. It happens JB, don’t go out there looking to break jaws! Just take the L, and move on, get ’em next time pal.
To make a long story short; Doug Armstrong probably made the right move in signing Jordan to a long term deal, but us knit-pickers can find ways to see why this may not work. All we as Blues fans ask of this deal is simple, be consistent and please for the love of god stay healthy. Maybe win another 3 cups too while we have you? LET’S GO BLUES!
Photo Credit: ESPN.com