The St. Louis Blues and restricted free agent Jaden Schwartz avoided arbitration as the forward signed a five year, $26.75-million contract, as first reported by Jeremy Rutherford.
The deal holds an average annual value of $5.35-million and runs through the 2020-21 season. According to General Fanager, Schwartz’s contract contains a modified no trade clause for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 season.
Drafted by the Blues in 2010 at No. 14 overall, Schwartz, 24, has played a total of 240 games with the team scoring 70 goals and 87 assists.
The forward was limited to 33 games this past year after fracturing his ankle in practice just seven games into the regular season. The injury required surgery causing him to miss 49 games from October to February.
He returned to finish the regular season and played all 20 playoff games for the Blues. He tied with David Backes at 14 playoff points good for second on the team behind Vladimir Tarasenko and Robby Fabbri with 15 points each.
Blues GM Doug Armstrong recognizes Schwartz as a key piece to the evolving arsenal in St. Louis.
“He’s part of that core we have moving forward,” Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said. “Schwartz and (Vladimir) Tarasenko, Robby Fabbri, Colton Parayko, Alex Pietrangelo, Jake Allen – we’re trying to build around these guys. Having Schwartz wrapped up in that group, we know we now have a core that we can build around and try to win a championship around.”
One player not mentioned on that list of the core – Kevin Shattenkirk.
Shattenkirk’s name has been on the trade market for a forever and a day. His agent expressed his surprise at the Blues not dealing the defenseman at the draft as many had anticipated would happen.
Perhaps we’re reading between the lines, but appears as if the GM is resigned to the fact that Shattenkirk will no longer be a part of the team. It’s not a matter if, but when and for how much in return.
The defenseman carries a $4.25-million cap hit and has one year left on his contract before becoming a UFA. With Schwartz’s deal on the books, the Blues are bumping right up against the cap with just over $3-million in space.