It’s very rare that you can find someone in the financial position to walk away from more than $12 million dollars. Apparently Patrik Berglund is one of those people.
After failing to report to the airport for a team flight to Washington, Berglund was placed on unconditional waivers today by the Buffalo Sabres. He missed a couple of games with an “illness,” then didn’t report for a few more, then was suspended.
You may remember him being part of the deal that sent Ryan O’Reilly to St. Louis. Berglund was allowed to be part of that deal because he (or his agent) neglected to submit his list of no move teams to Doug Armstrong in a timely manner. O’Reilly became available, Buffalo wanted Berglund, and so the trade went down. Berglund had enjoyed his ten years in St. Louis so much that even being reunited with Carter Hutton couldn’t get him to stay in Buffalo. His playing time was getting cut, he was a healthy scratch, and he had just two goals.
Then, during the course of the Berglund drama today, we see this:
Interest is picking up in acquiring Buffalo Forward Patrik Berglund. Stay tuned #Sabres— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) December 19, 2018
Good lord, what? Does that mean “around the league,” or does that mean “by the Blues?” Bergie would come back with a paycut, obviously, but he’s effectively been replaced at center by Tyler Bozak. No, Bozak hasn’t had a good season, but no one has, and I’m not sure if Berglund would return to the Blues an improved player.
I’ve never had any problem with Berglund as a player (I wasn’t thrilled with DA’s contract dealings with him, though) but there is literally no place for him on the team right now. Where does he slot in? Do the Blues need bigger bodies out there? Sure, but unless Berglund clears the crease and uses his size, which he didn’t really do much of last season, there’s no reason to ask him back.
I’m sorry he found himself in an unpleasant situation and I wish him all of the luck in the world. I’m sure another team will take a chance on him, but I’m going to just assume that team won’t be the Blues.