Is the Matt Kessel extension a sign of things to come for the St. Louis Blues?

Yesterday, the St. Louis Blues locked in defenseman Matt Kessel to a two-year extension, and it could start signaling a roster replenishment.

St Louis Blues v Boston Bruins
St Louis Blues v Boston Bruins / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

General manager Doug Armstrong is serious about making the St. Louis Blues younger, having recently recalled Zach Dean before signing blueliner Matt Kessel to a two-year contract extension. 

Despite their solid number of seasoned veterans, St. Louis is one of the NHL’s younger teams, ranking 24th in age per Elite Prospects and 20th in experience. Moves like Kessel’s extension will continue to help reconstruct a rotation that could see players like 34-year-old Marco Scandella leave in free agency in favor of fresh talent from the AHL ranks.

Others like Colton Parayko and Torey Krug were two players who ultimately weren’t moved at the 2024 trade deadline, but there is a chance their names once again pop up in the rumor mill come the offseason. Should Armstrong move them, don’t be surprised if the Blues get even younger on the blue line, especially with the intriguing Scott Perunovich also up for an extension. 

Matt Kessel extension is a step in St. Louis Blues lineup replenishment

Injuries have been a huge culprit in keeping Perunovich from playing a full season, with just 40 appearances this season as of March 13th. However, the 25-year-old has averaged nearly a block per game, and when healthy, he’s also been valuable to the Blues on the man advantage. 

Should Armstrong sign Perunovich to a bridge deal, expect to see a pair of full-time NHLers in their early and mid-twenties on the blue line next season, with Kessel appearing to be on board. And with four players at forward on the active roster currently on entry-level contracts, it will be interesting to see if three of the four players listed, sans Jake Neighbours, maximize their chances of making the lineup full-time next season.

If that’s the case, then there is a good chance the Blues don’t need to rebuild but can instead retool or reconstruct their lineup. And that could better open the window for serious contention sooner than later in upcoming seasons in favor of a potential full-on rebuild or to keep everything as is and add talent from the outside.


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)