Saturday, July 13, 2019

Binnington avoids arbitration, signs two-year contract

Goalie to make $4.4 million AAV on bridge deal after 
helping lead Blues to first Stanley Cup in franchise history 

ST. LOUIS -- On Friday, Jordan Binnington was celebrating his day with the Stanley Cup. On Saturday, he was celebrating a new contract.

And one helluva raise.

(St. Louis Blues photo)
Jordan Binnington celebrates with the Stanley Cup
after helping the Blues win their first in franchise
history on June 12 against the Boston Bruins.
A restricted free agent with arbitration rights, Binnington avoided a July 20 hearing by agreeing to a two-year, $8.8 million contract ($4.4 million average annual value).

"I'm happy to get this deal done with the St. Louis Blues," Binnington said on the team's website. "To the city of St. Louis, thank you for welcoming me in and trusting me to do me. I'm excited and motivated to keep doing my job and keep bringing success to the St. Louis Blues organization."

A third-round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, Binnington burst onto the scene for the Blues when he made his first NHL start on Jan. 7 and earned a 25-save shutout in a 3-0 win at the Philadelphia Flyers and soared from there, helping the Blues to their first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history.

Binnington went 24-5-1 in the regular season with a 1.89 goals-against average, a .927 save-percentage and five shutouts and was a candidate for the Calder Trophy.

In 26 playoff games, Binnington went 16-10 with a 2.46 GAA, a .914 save-percentage and one shutout; he also became the first rookie goaltender in NHL history to record 16 wins in a single postseason, passing the previous record of 15 set by four goaltenders Patrick Roy of the Montreal Canadiens, Ron Hextall of the Philadelphia Flyers, Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Thus avoiding arbitration, Binnington signs a two-year bridge contract and can become an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season. It's a contract that gives both sides the time to evaluate and in essence is a prove-it type of deal over an extended period.

Binnington made just $650,000 on a two-way contract last season that paid him $100,000 in the minors and earned himself a nice pay raise after winning the Cup. On Friday, he was in his hometown of Richmond Hill, Ontario celebrating his day with the Cup.

"We are pleased to have Jordan signed for two more years," added Blues general manager Doug Armstrong also said on the team website. "His play was outstanding and we look forward to seeing him continue to be a major contributor for our team."

With Binnington signed, he joins Robby Fabbri (one year, $900,000 signed Friday), Zach Sanford (two-year, $1.5 million AAV signed July 8) and Sammy Blais (one year, $850,000 signed July 1) as RFA's that have signed the free agency period opened. It leaves a little more than $7.1 million in cap space remaining with 22 players under contract. The Blues still need to sign defenseman Joel Edmundson, forwards Oskar Sundqvist and Ivan Barbashev and goalie Ville Husso, but there will be some money alleviated with players dropping off the current roster once these players are signed, so in essence, if the Blues were to drop Mackenzie MacEachern ($750,000), Jordan Schmaltz ($700,000) and Derrick Pouliot ($700,000) off the current roster, that money will be added to the cap.

Defenseman Mitch Reinke signed his RFA deal on Friday, a one-year, two-way contract that will pay him $750,000 NHL, $100,000 AHL. 

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