The St. Louis Blues have finally come back to reality after their first Stanley Cup win. They have started to tackle their 18 pending free agents, re-signing UFA Carl Gunnarsson to a two-year deal. The contract has a yearly cap hit of $1.75 million, roughly $1.2 million less than his previous deal.
#stlblues announce Gunnarsson has agreed to a two-year contract worth $1.75 million AAV.
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) June 27, 2019
Carl Gunnarsson Decides to Stay Put, Sings Two-Year Extension
Gunnarsson had a very strong 2018-19 season. He battled injury for most of the year, only managing to play in 25 games during the regular season. Nonetheless, many Blues fans will agree Gunnarsson made an impact in all 25. He netted eight points total, with three being goals. Surprisingly, these three goals came on only 21 shots-on-goal. This sets Gunnarsson’s shooting-percentage at 14.3 percent, by far the highest among any of the team’s defensemen.
The Blues had Gunnarsson partner with team captain Alex Pietrangelo for almost every game he played in. This included in the playoffs, where Gunnarsson tallied three more points in 19 games. Despite his top-line role, Gunnarsson only averaged around 16 minutes of ice time each game during the regular season. In the playoffs, this dropped to 15.
With Gunnarsson re-signed, the Blues now only need to sign Joel Edmundson to keep the same defensive corps as last season. Edmundson is a restricted free agent, one of nine the team has to worry about. All nine received qualifying offers. Among this group of RFAs is rookie-sensation Jordan Binnington. Binnington was a dominant role in the Blues Stanley Cup run. His great play, particularly in the post-season, was enough to rank him second in Conn Smythe voting when all was said and done.
Among their free agents, Blues fans are also eagerly awaiting the re-signing of Pat Maroon. The Blues signed Maroon in the 2018 summer, gifting the Oakville native a homecoming. He clearly took full advantage of said homecoming, helping lead the team to their first Cup.