Better late than never to sign your top restricted free agent! Blues’ GM Doug Armstrong got a deal locked in with 22 year old Center-man Robert Thomas yesterday, just 2 days before the start of the NHL training camp.
Thomas’ new deal is a two-year contract valued at $5.6 million, an AAV of $2.8 million. The young, budding center scored 3 goals and 9 assists for 12 points last season in 33 games played, missing 23 due to injury. Thomas, despite missing parts of each season he has played in to injury, has proven to be a needle-mover on the offense. On the flip side, he will need to prove his durability and be able to produce at a high clip to earn a long term deal with the Blues in 2023. Undoubtedly, Thomas is on the proverbial hot seat, but there is no reason he can not rise above this adversity and be “The guy” going forward!
With Thomas’ new deal, the Blues are over the salary cap with the current roster. There are plenty of avenues to take to avoid the cap compliance issues: trading Vladimir Tarasenko is still on the table, as well as placing center Oskar Sundqvist on LTIR. GM Armstrong will have a busy year making last minute callups, trade offers and dealing with potential COVID and injury bugs. Needless to say this signing is a great thing for building the core of the future, but we must address there is still work to be done to this roster.
IMAGE CREDIT: bleedinblue.com