The St. Louis Blues gave a contract extension out. It was not exactly the move fans were hoping for.
The St. Louis Blues announced on September 10, 2020 they had signed Jacob de La Rose to a contract extension. This needed to happen, even if it is not a sexy deal.
The contract itself is fair. It is a one-year deal worth only $700,000, which is basically league minimum.
de La Rose has not proven himself to be worth any more money than that, so he was smart to take the deal to stay in the NHL. In fact, his rookie contract worth $925,000 was actually his most lucrative as he has gone from $925,000 to $725,000 to $900,000 back down to the figure the Blues will pay him this season.
So, fans might be asking why the Blues even bother. Well, they pretty much had to.
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If you do not sign de La Rose, you would still need to bring in someone like him for the same amount of money. At this point, the Blues know what he provides.
It is basically a case of better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know. So, you keep a player that can provide enough minutes to give other guys a spell and fits your system rather than bringing in an outsider who might not mesh.
Additionally, it is hard not to think the Blues kept de La Rose to justify the Robby Fabbri trade a little. Despite fan reaction to his first few weeks in Detroit, Fabbri is not going to transform into a top-line player, so the Blues did not waste him completely. Nevertheless, they also cannot give up on their return just yet when Fabbri did start scoring while playing with the Red Wings.
Despite an overall lack of offensive talent, de La Rose does give the team flexibility. He can play both wing and center, which the Blues had to utilize when injuries started piling up in the playoffs.
He also fits the St. Louis system that Craig Berube likes to play. de La Rose is not overly fast, but he’s not slow and he plays with physicality, rackingup 88 hits in just 34 regular season games with the Blues.
de La Rose doesn’t have a high ceiling, but you get the sense there is a little more in there than we are seeing. So, for a guy you know will be in a fourth line role, if he gives you more then great. If you don’t get more, then you’re getting what you paid for anyway.
The only real detraction from this deal is money off the cap. The Blues have roughly $5.154 million in cap space right now after the de La Rose deal.
However, that’s no fault of his, so do not say the Blues could have let him walk. Someone was going to take that roster spot, so the money was always going to be spent in a spot elsewhere than Alex Pietrangelo. You still have to field a full roster and that means money against the cap no matter what.
This signing does not move the needle. It had to happen to provide the team depth because the minor leagues are looking pretty bare at the moment.