Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blues' Berglund gets three-year extension

Center will earn $11.1 million,  $3.7 average 
annual value; could be lined up for potential trade

ST. LOUIS -- The Blues got busy on the eve of the draft, signing restricted free agent center Patrik Berglund to a three-year contract extension worth .

With the NHL Draft set to get underway Friday, Berglund's name has been at the top of trade speculation and the signing -- $11.1 million with an average annual salary of $3.7 million -- could be a precursor to a potential trade.

The 26-year-old is coming off a one-year contract that paid him $3.25 million in which Berglund appeared in 78 regular season games this past season and recorded 32 points (14 goals and 18 assists). He also appeared in four playoff games against the Chicago Blackhawks while missing two games with a shoulder injury.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Center Patrik Berglund (pictured) received a three-year, $11.1
million contract extension Thursday.

Overall, Berglund has played in six NHL seasons in St. Louis. He's compiled 220 points (106 goals and 114 assists) in 436 career regular season games. His best season was 2010-11 when he had career highs in goals (22), assists (30) and points (52) in 81 games.

But it's no secret that the Blues have been linked to rumors of a trade, specifically with Ottawa captain Jason Spezza, who's asked the Senators for a trade. Berglund, who could have become a restricted free agent and had arbitration rights, has been linked to any Spezza rumors floating around. 

Is this a potential sign-and-trade from the Blues' perspective? Perhaps. But the team has also made it known that they still like Berglund moving forward, especially coach Ken Hitchcock, who's used the 6-foot-3, 217-pounder as both a center and on left wing.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong is said to be looking to acquire via trade or through free agency a No. 2 center, but he won't rule out Berglund remaining in the long-term plans. 

At least not yet.

"I think we have to see where Berglund's going to get to," Armstrong said after the season ended. "... He wasn't the player that he normally is. I think he can potentially grab some of those (second-line center) minutes."

But the timing of the deal lines up with the notion that Berglund, one of the team's two No. 1 picks in 2006, could be part of a packaged deal sometime over the weekend. 

The Blues have two restricted free agents remaining, including Vladimir Sobotka and Jaden Schwartz.

Berglund's contract will take him to the summer of 2017 and he can become an unrestricted free agent at that time. 

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