Call Patrik Berglund what you will. He's young, he's talented and last season he started to show signs of breaking out into the player he can become, while continuing to tantalize and frustrate many St. Louis Blues fans by making some really dumb errors. But the Blues were unfazed by the latter portion of what our beloved Technoviking did last season, and put a one-year contract out there to see if Berglund will "prove it". Either that, or they're making the trade market a bit sweeter by signing the youngster from Vasteras, Sweden to a buy-low type of deal.
What'll happen? Who knows, really?
Here's what we do know. Berglund and the Blues agreed in principle on a one-year deal, taking him off the Restricted Free Agent market. Various sources were able to confirm with word from Doug Armstrong that the deal is worth $3.25MM.
For a guy who basically had a breakout season (and let's face it, a guy scoring at a half-a-point-per-game pace as Berglund did this season IS pretty damn valuable), you'd think they'd want to go long-term, as Army did with David Perron and T.J. Oshie last summer. This leads one to wonder what the motive is behind a one-year deal.
This can be taken one of two ways:
- Berglund signs a one-year deal because that's what Doug Armstrong and Company offered him, with their directive to "prove it" to the bosses that last season was no fluke and that he will continue his upward improvement to ensure he's a Top Six center in future seasons.
- Berglund signed a one-year deal with knowledge that he will be moved to another club in a package deal, where he will be given a better chance to "prove it" to someone else that he can be a force to be reckoned with.
I have strong reason to believe the latter is true, but I would not have a problem if the former is the case. I am of the mind that Berglund may be more valuable to another team, but if he keeps improving, he doesn't have to go anywhere else to prove himself. Ken Hitchcock seems to like Berglund, despite his momentary lapses of reason and his tendency to play smaller than his large frame at times, but Hitch probably wouldn't mind a better center for the Blues' Top Six.
The coming weeks will tell what exactly this means for Berglund and the Blues in 2013-14. For now, all we know is the Blues and Berglund have a deal in place, and until we know otherwise, he'll be trying to "prove it" to the team next season.
Teach me how to Bergie.