Saturday, February 25, 2017

Blues, Berglund pleased to get extension completed

Five-year, $19.25 million contract keeps 
2006 first-round pick in the fold through 2022

ST. LOUIS -- Patrik Berglund was whipping around like a kid in a candy store upon the Blues' return from their five-day hiatus.

Almost like someone given new life.

In a way, it is for Berglund and the Blues, who signed their 2006 first-round draft pick on Friday to a five-year, $19.25 million extension on Friday.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Blues center Patrik Berglund (21) celebrates a goal with teammate Jaden
Schwartz last season during the Western Conference Final.

Berglund, 28, was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 but chose to remain where he's played his entire career; his three-year, $11.1 million contract is due to expire July 1.

"It just feels good," said Berglund, who has 17 goals and seven assists in 60 games this season. "That's what I wanted. I love this team and organization and city and the guys I'm playing with, so it feels good.

"... I'm really happy with the deal, and happy to stay."

Berglund's contract, which carries a $3.85 million cap hit, slightly above the $3.7 million under his current deal, will pay him $4.7 million in each of the next two seasons, $4.5 million in 2019-20, $2.9 million in 2020-21, and $2.45 million in 2021-22 and carries a modified no-trade clause throughout.

After scoring one goal in 30 games to start the season, Berglund went on a stretch of scoring 16 in 26 games.

"We wanted to get into the new year and see where our team was and get a good look at where we had areas that we wanted to make sure that we filled up and obviously I think Patrik has had a good year," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "... This decision wasn't based on a two- or three-week scoring run. It was based on his size, his skill level and really a player that is not out there and really appreciate in our group. I think it's great that he's scoring. We'd love for him to score at this pace forever. That would make him a 40-goal scorer. I think he'd be happy and we'd be happy. This is more based on the overall product of a competitive top nine forward."

Term was important for Berglund, who is tied with Bob Plager for seventh on the all-time games played with the franchise at 615 regular-season games.

"It was pretty important to me," Berglund said. "I wanted to stay for a long time and they agreed on that, so it was all good.

"... When the talks start, you kind of know where you're at. I wouldn't call them and say I needed a deal. So they contacted us and made it happen."

Blues coach Mike Yeo has been very complimentary of Berglund's play since he took over for Ken Hitchcock on Feb. 1 and is glad to see the Swede stick around.

"Very happy about that, very pleased for 'Bergy,' and very happy about it for us," Yeo said. "Me coming in this year and getting a chance to see him and work with him, he's a guy that we have an awful lot of confidence in as a coaching staff. He can impact a game physically, he can impact a game both offensively and defensively and has a real presence on our team."

Armstrong viewed the potential free agent class for this summer and didn't see anyone that could replace what Berglund already gives them, so it made sense to keep what you already have.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Blues center Patrik Berglund (21) signed a five-year extension through
2022 to keep him in St. Louis.

"You look at the potential free agent class that's available and we just felt like that getting into the new year and talking to Mike knowing that Mike has a lot of respect for Patrik and believes in his abilities," Armstrong said. "It seemed like the right player to get signed under contract. You look at four or five years, you want to do what's competitive in the market and obviously players like as much term as possible and teams like to give as low term as possible. 

"When you look at the term of a contract, to get a shorter term of a deal, the player is obviously going to test free agency and see if there's something more attractive available. We just felt Patrik was going to be very attractive in the market today and we wanted to alleviate him finding out what was out there and quite honestly, he didn't want to do that either. Something I think both sides are excited about and both sides are happy to have behind us."

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