St. Louis Blues Must Extend Brayden Schenn Soon

The St. Louis Blues have been guilty of giving out contracts too soon quite a bit in recent history. An extension for one of their best players would not fall under that category.

The St. Louis Blues Blues like to strike while the iron is hot when it comes to handing out contracts or extensions. That has gotten them into plenty of trouble in recent past.

Fans will remember albatross contracts to the likes of Jori Lehtera or Patrik Berglund. Alexander Steen‘s deal is still hanging over this team’s head as well.

All of them made sense when pen was put to paper. They made little to no sense soon after that.

So, what do you do with Brayden Schenn? Schenn still has one more season on his contract after 2018-19. Do you wait it out and see if you should move him at next year’s deadline or do you try to get something done now?

By the title of this article, you can clearly tell where the Blues should go in one, humble opinion. The Blues need to give an extension to Schenn now before it is too late. The reasons are two fold.

On the one hand, you are rewarding a player who has been one of your two or three best players for two seasons in a row. Schenn’s numbers might have dipped this year compared to last, but he has still been an important cog to this team’s success.

Schenn, Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko are 13-0 when put out on the same line. Their record is far less stellar when one of that trio is hurt or playing somewhere else.

Schenn is not going to hit the 70 point mark as he did in 2017-18, but he can easily get into the 50’s, which is what he averaged his last two seasons in Philadelphia. That kind of production is worth what he is getting paid.

Of course, the Blues will have to give him a bit of a raise from his current $5.125 million. If it is a true extension, meaning it does not kick in until after his current deal, then the Blues only have eight players currently under contract at that point. It is good to have financial freedom, but it is better to know who you have going into those years too.

Even if you worry about a potential downward trend in production, which seems unlikely since Schenn is currently only 27, you set yourself up for a possible better return. Teams want certainty if they are going to engage in trade talks.

A player under contract is much more enticing than one about to become a free agent. If you extend Schenn now and he falls off next season, you still hold more cards with him under a deal as opposed to teams knowing you need to sell and sell low at the deadline.

I do not think that would come into play. Now that he has enough time under his belt, Schenn has emerged as somewhat of a leader. I would put him behind O’Reilly in that category, but he still leads by example.

Schenn has plenty of skill, but he has played like an old-school power forward. He hits people on the forecheck, instead of gently gliding by. He is unafraid to get his nose dirty, or bent, to stick up for teammates or create a positive emotional spike.

Schenn has his defensive deficiencies like any player, but I’ll take my chances with him over plenty of guys on the current roster. There has just been too much positive.

Schenn seems to have worked out any issues he had with Tarasenko from the 2017-18 season. They have combined for a lot of points, which does not always happen if you are not on the same page.

At this point, the only thing holding anyone back from an extension would be Schenn’s desire to play center. If he is steadfast and hard-headed in that notion, the Blues might not have room for him unless you could move Tyler Bozak.

If Schenn has a more team-first attitude, then the Blues should have funds to give him a bump in pay and some more years. As long as he can put the center position aside for a bit, he fits in with this team incredibly well. Keeping him around would give them plenty of depth up the middle when the inevitable injuries occur too.

The Blues need to jump on this one sooner rather than later. St. Louis might not have much luck with their recent extensions, but this one would be worth it.