Left wing signs for $26.75 million, avoids
salary arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday
ST. LOUIS -- Jaden Schwartz was part of the first group of players up for a salary arbitration hearing on July 20.
The Blues' left wing can scratch those plans off his calendar now that the restricted free agent and the team have agreed to terms on a five-year contract worth $26.75 million, or an average annual value of $5.35 million per season.
|(St. Louis Blues photo)|
Left wing Jaden Schwartz signed a five-year contract on
Friday and avoided salary arbitration.
Schwartz, 24, one of the two Blues' 2010 first-round picks (Vladimir Tarasenko was the other), is coming off a two-year bridge contract in 2014 that paid him $2 million in 2014-15 and $2.7 million this past season.
Schwartz is coming off a season in which he played 33 games after sustaining a fractured left ankle Oct. 23 that forced him to miss 49 games; he had eight goals and 14 assists in the regular season and four goals and 10 assists in 20 Stanley Cup Playoff games helping the Blues reach the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2001.
Prior to last season, Schwartz put up his best two seasons in the NHL, including a career-high in goals (28), assists (35) and points (63) in 75 games during the 2014-15 season; he had 25 goals and 31 assists in 80 games in 2013-14.
Blues general manager Doug Armstrong maintained all along after the season that signing Schwartz to a long-term deal was the top priority of the franchise and would give the Blues a clear picture which direction they were headed in, particularly as far as their cap number is concerned.
Schwartz is part of a younger core group that includes Tarasenko, Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk, Robby Fabbri, Colton Parayko and Jake Allen.
"We've had great success with a number of players and now, it's important for that group now to support the veteran players," Armstrong said after the season ended.
Schwartz has 157 points (70 goals, 87 assists) in 240 regular season games and 21 points (six goals, 15 assists) in 38 playoff.
* NOTES -- The Blues also came to terms on one-year, two-way contracts for goalies Jordan Binnington and Pheonix Copley on Friday.
Binnington and Copley, who played in the American Hockey League with the Chicago Wolves last season, are expected to compete for the No. 1 job with the Wolves again this season.