Should the St. Louis Blues offer Marco Scandella a new contract?

Marco Scandella will be an unrestricted free agent after spending the last few years with the St. Louis Blues.  
St Louis Blues v Montreal Canadiens
St Louis Blues v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Marco Scandella originally signed a four-year deal in 2020, making him one of the current unrestricted free agents from the 2023-24 roster.

Scandella, 34, is a seasoned player who has played in 784 career games. His longest tenure with any team was with the Minnesota Wild (2010-2016).

As a defenseman, Scandella has maintained consistent numbers throughout his career. His best year with the St. Louis Blues came in 2021-22 when he recorded 14 points from 11 assists and 3 goals.

Without a doubt, his greatest years were showcased during his tenure in Minnesota, with the 2014-15 season standing out as his most successful year in the NHL. In that season, he scored 11 goals, had 12 assists, and concluded the season with 23 points.

Should the St. Louis Blues attempt to keep Scandella?

It's uncertain if general manager Doug Armstrong can secure a top defender through free agency. St. Louis has enough cap space to bring in a skilled player, and their focus is strengthening the defenseman position.

While Scandella's reliability on the ice remains consistent, there is no denying that age is catching up with him. Considered as someone who fills gaps rather than excelling in numbers, his career has not seen him achieve elite status.

Many hockey pundits regard this offseason's free agent class as weak, which could potentially create additional challenges for Armstrong as he tries to acquire a few defensemen.

It's probably wise to move on from Scandella and allocate his previous salary towards a younger player.

It is important to acknowledge that several factors remain uncertain, and it is within the realm of possibility that Armstrong and head coach Drew Bannister are contemplating the addition of a player from the AHL or an international league. As soon as the training camp gets underway, several prospects will be presented with the chance to impress the coaching staff and potentially secure a spot on the team.

Scandella finished the season with 8 points in 65 games. One key indicator that his time in St. Louis may be near its conclusion is his career-low average ice time of 12:28.  

Don't expect Scandella to return; his original contract averaged around $3 million. While this may have been a great deal in 2020, the Blues should explore other options for a replacement, given his lack of playing time this year.