St. Louis Blues Seem Likely To Overpay Jordan Kyrou

St. Louis Blues center Jordan Kyrou (25)Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues center Jordan Kyrou (25)Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Blues feel like they have their roster pretty well set for the 2022-23 season. Maybe Doug Armstrong has something up his sleeve, but they don’t have room for free agents at the moment and there’s not much talk of trade.

In fact, if you weren’t going to trade some of the names rumored to be part of a potential Matthew Tkachuk deal, I’m not sure why you’d trade them for anyone else. It wouldn’t make much sense.

In essence, the only real thing Armstrong has left this summer is to try getting extensions done. Most people think Ryan O’Reilly is the top priority.

Frankly, I hope Army re-signs Vladimir Tarasenko, just to put a gag in the mouth of a certain section of fandom. Jordan Kyrou is also another name that is pending and might cost less now than if he performs well and enters free agency.

The key word is might. In all likelihood, the Blues are going to spend more on Kyrou than they really should.

Some will say that’s what the market bears and I can’t completely disagree with the point. However, it’s more a contention of what Kyrou is likely to be, rather than a reflection on the wisdom of contracts given out.

We have already seen lots of big dollars spent and the salary cap has not moved an inch since the pandemic. There’s lots of talk about the cap going up, and by a large margin, given the league’s record profits this past season.

There has not been much talk of when. Some GM’s have already handed out big money, hoping they’ll have room in the next season.

Armstrong has been smart about it all. He’s handed out deals that are smart given the cap situation in the here and now, not what it might be in 2023 or 2024.

Unfortunately, that will only last so long. Eventually, the Blues are going to have to pony up to someone, whether it’s an internal player or someone from outside the organization.

It’s kind of sad that you can just feel the Blues will be forced to pay someone $10 million per season eventually. That’s not likely to be Kyrou, but it’s coming.

Eventually, Tom Stillman will be forced to spend that much just to keep top-tier talent coming to the gateway city. It was nice to have a team that was more balanced and your highest-paid player was earning less than $8 million.

That changed when the Blues gave $8 million-plus to Robert Thomas on his extension. Thomas is a fine player and the Blues were just securing his talents for what they feel he will be worth.

It’s hard not to feel that he’s not quite worth that yet. Perhaps he is when looking at comparables from around the league, but when that’s your first player to give that much money to, it would be nice to have a much surer bet.

The same feeling goes toward a potential extension for Kyrou. I want Kyrou to stay and was vehemently against his name being part of trade talk.

However, shows on 101 ESPN have been wondering if Kyrou would get a similar deal worth around $8 million per season. Even comparing it to the $7.5 that Tarasenko and O’Reilly currently have was discussed.

I’m sorry, but as much as I love the player and think he can be excellent if he continues to grow, that’s an overpayment. Don’t talk about the market or potential.

Kyrou is just not worth $8 million per season. He has not shown enough yet.

Kyrou is coming off the best season of his career. He had 27 goals and 75 points in his fourth season in the NHL overall, though second season you’d consider a full year.

In Brett Hull’s fourth season overall, he had 84 points. So, if you look at it like that, if you’ve got plenty of players getting $10 million, then someone scoring 75 points would probably fall into that $8 million range.

My contention is not so much the points, but the goals and the overall style of play.

Kyrou came out of a cannon in 2021-22. He looked every bit like a guy that could eventually lead the team in goals.

He earned a spot in the All-Star Game. Kyrou even won the fastest skater competition, which surprised even his hardcore fans.

The league figured him out after that, though. Kyrou had 10 goals from February through the end of the season.

He had a horrendous March, scoring one goal the entire month. Kyrou was still picking up assists, sometimes more than one per game, but the Blues have enough playmakers. They need goals from him.

If you’re going to pay a scorer $8 million, or even $7 million per season, they better be able to score with regularity. Every goal scorer goes through streaks, but the worry is that we’ve seen all that Kyrou can be.

Maybe 27 goals is the highest he ever gets. Perhaps the rest of the league figured out that if you put a body on him, he doesn’t know how to respond.

The Blues can’t afford to pay someone that much money if they can be shut down that easily. They can’t afford to pay that much money to someone that may have already peaked.

I can’t say that 27 is the highest Kyrou will ever get. Maybe he crosses that 30-goal threshold.

I just see more David Perron in him than a pure goal scorer. That’s not a knock on either man either.

Perron was a steady player once he figured things out. Even prior to leaving the Blues the first time, he showed flashes of brilliance.

Yet his career high was 28 goals. Kyrou has already far surpassed the point totals that Perron put up, but he still reminds me of those early years with Perron.

The skill is there, but not the determination. The will is not there yet.

I was as high on Kyrou as any Blues fan. The end of the season and the playoffs especially soured me.

The ease with which he was knocked off the puck was discouraging. His lack of effort or will to play anything resembling defense on some shifts was shocking.

There were times you could see him utilize that speed to get back and make up for a mistake. Unfortunately, that made it all the worse when he wouldn’t.

That reminded me a lot of those early days with Perron. Perron would dangle and skate and slide past guys but never really accomplish anything.

The worry is that you hand out a big money contract to Kyrou and then that’s exactly what he is – a player that has skill but can’t accomplish things against the hard teams.

Perron’s biggest contract ever is his current $4.75 million with Detroit and that’s coming off two career seasons in points per game. He still only got to 27 goals.

Are we so sure that Kyrou will eclipse 30 and keep those assist totals up? If you’re paying him $3 million more than Perron, he better be at that 30 goal mark or up to 80 points per season.

Otherwise, it’s simply an overpayment no matter how you slice it.

Mike Hoffman hit 30-plus goals and never got over $5.2 million. Yes, Kyrou has more points in one season than Hoffman ever did, but the Blues need goals, not assists, especially if they can’t keep Tarasenko around.

dark. Next. January 26 might be the last Blues first for awhile

I sincerely hope that the Blues keep Kyrou around and he surpasses whatever contract he has to live up to. I simply fear that anything close to what Thomas is earning will be too hard to truly earn for a guy that still has much to learn.