The St. Louis Blues announced on Sunday that they’ve re-signed Oskar Sundqvist. The centre agreed to a four-year deal with the team with an annual cap hit of $2.75 million. Sundqvist was scheduled for an arbitration hearing later in the week.
Oskar Sundqvist signs a 4-year deal, with an AAV of $2.75 millon
— Tom Timmermann (@tomtimm) July 21, 2019
St. Louis Blues Re-Sign Oskar Sundqvist
With Jordan Binnington signing a week prior, and Ville Husso also inking a new deal, Sundqvist was one of only two Blues headed to arbitration. Joel Edmundson is now the only Blues player headed to arbitration, despite St. Louis tying with the Calgary Flames for the most players to file for arbitration this year. Ivan Barbashev also remains unsigned, although he was not arbitration-eligible. Both players are important pieces of the Blues Stanley Cup-winning roster and are expected to re-sign soon.
Sundqvist had a breakout year last season. He recorded a modest 31 points in 80 regular-season games but made a big impact in the team’s shaky lineup. After originally starting at winger, the Blues moved Sundqvist to centre around the middle of the season. From there, he embraced the role as a bottom-six centre for the team. While he did make regular appearances on the wing of the team’s second-line, he was often the spark of the team’s bottom line. He was the leader of a line that saw a mix of Barbashev, Zach Sanford, and Alex Steen.
In the post-season, Sundqvist truly shined. He again put up moderate scoring, with nine points in 25 games, but his energy was unparallel. Sundqvist recorded a whopping 74 hits over the course of the playoff run. This physicality, combined with Barbashev’s 87 hits in the same span, was a decisive factor in the Blues eventual Cup win. While both players clearly gave their all every game, showing off the elite speed they both boast, their hitting was a clear difference-maker.
What it Means
Sundqvist will compete for a top-six role next season, something he fought for many times as the year closed. This contract gives the Blues roughly $4.4 million to re-sign Barbashev and Edmundson. While this is completely doable, it likely closes the door to Pat Maroon‘s triumphant return. Maroon, an Oakville native, was deemed a hometown hero with his many late-game heroics as the Blues pushed through the playoffs.