St. Louis Blues defenseman Marco Scandella has agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension with an AAV of $3.275M. Scandella was in the final year of his contract that was originally signed when he was a member of the Minnesota Wild but was traded to the Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens, and finally to the St. Louis Blues near the trade deadline of the 2019-20 season. Scandella was acquired by the Blues on February 18th from the Canadiens in exchange for a second round pick and a conditional fourth which the Blues now have to give to the Canadiens since Scandella has now re-signed in St. Louis prior to opening night of the 2020-21 season. Scandella played in 11 games for the Blues this season, recording one assist and a +4 rating while the team went 9-2-0 with Scandella in the lineup.
Scandella, 30, was originally acquired due to the Blues losing Jay Bouwmeester for the rest of the season due to a cardiac episode during a February game in Anaheim. It is unlikely Bouwmeester plays hockey again but now with the contract extension of Marco Scandella, the Blues have locked up their left-handed defensive defenseman. The extension announcement could also mean trouble for another current Blues left-handed defenseman in Carl Gunnarsson. Gunnarsson has one year left on his contract but with Scandella signed long-term and young left-handed defenseman Niko Mikkola on a one-way contract next season along with the likes of LHD Scott Perunovich potentially joining the club, this could mean a trade is inevitable for Gunnarsson.
Doug Armstrong has been working the phones during this quarantine, having re-signed two players in two days with the announcement of the Sammy Blais contract extension yesterday. With Scandella and Blais signed, the only remaining to be free agents at the NHL level that Doug Armstrong has yet to cross off his list are Alex Pietrangelo, Vince Dunn, and Mackenzie MacEachern. With time on their hands, the Dunn and MacEachern extensions could also be just days away from being announced. However for Pietrangelo, the contract everyone in St. Louis is worried about, might have to wait until the actual offseason to one, see where the cap is at and two, a player or two might have to be traded to open up cap space for Pietrangelo. Either way, Doug Armstrong will be trying to find a way to lock up two of his top defensemen in the coming days, weeks, and months.