Today the St. Louis Blues have extended the contract of Patrik Berglund.
The extension comes to another 5 years and 19.25 million, $3.85 million annually.
Berglund was a 1st round draft pick for the Blues in 2006 (25th overall). Since his 21 goal / 47 point rookie campaign, earning him NHL All Rookie Honors, he has not developed the way the organization may have hoped, but he has been a steady asset for this team. The recent success on the ice is one of the main contributors in the resurgence of the team since the coaching change.
Can we attribute this success in this being a contract year and come next year he returns to the production that has been less than expected? Maybe, but I think this is a gamble that, not only needed to be made, but it’s a sensible contract for a veteran center.
The Blues are in desperate need for centers that can contribute on the top lines. Even though Berglund is the 3rd line center, if this production is sustained, who says a promotion to a top line isn’t in order? Lehtera has been, probably, the most disappointing contract in recent memory is making at least $1 million more annually than Berglund’s new contract, and who is the better player? Hopefully that puts this deal in perspective for any of you out there who does not agree with this extension.
Part of Berglund’s bounce back to form, has got to be the added physicality he has shown recently. Getting in front of the net, using that size and strength, and getting rebounds is exactly what the Blues were lacking. He has been that player and the results speak for themselves. With the center position being as coveted as it is and so hard to find, Berglund gives the club stability.
The offseason will be interesting, to say the least. We have a long way to go till then and a trade deadline to still get through, but one question that has been asked and answered…Will Berglund be a Blue on March 2nd? Yes he will and I for one am excited to see how he responds.