Joel Edmundson is a Stanley Cup champion, and he would like to get paid like one.
Edmundson, 26, is up for his arbitration hearing tomorrow, and suggested terms from both his agents and the Blues have become public. Let’s just say that Edmundson’s agents view him as a valued member of a championship team, while the Blues view him as someone who has taken a step backward. Edmundson’s last contract was a one-year, $3,000,000 deal that was meant to take him nearly through the end of his RFA period. A good season from Edmundson could, in theory, have net Edmundson a raise.
Instead, his 2018-2019 season saw a slight drop in production, a few more trips to the press box, and a playoff performance that occasionally made him look more like a liability than an asset, let alone a $3,000,000 asset. Edmundson is a decent defenseman, but not one that a team hamstrung up against the cap can afford to give a raise to.
Enter Edmundson’s agents. They submitted a salary figure of $4.2 million, which is very, very far off from the Blues’ offer of $2.3 million.
There is no way that Edmundson’s salary winds up being what his agents suggested, and a salary that high means that he’ll more than likely be a salary cap trade casualty. His agents highballed the Blues on purpose, and truth be told, the Blues lowballed their offer too. Both sides can successfully hammer out something in the middle and have it be seen as a “victory.” Edmundson can either get a slight raise (which he probably isn’t worth) and declare a win, or the Blues can sign him to a little more than what they want to sign him to and still say that they’re saving money.
It’s most likely that tomorrow’s hearing will end with Edmundson getting a salary slightly less than what he made last season so the Blues can comfortably sign Ivan Barbashev to a new contract. Regardless of where the price falls on Edmundson, these last two signings will more than likely spell the end of Pat Maroon as a Blue. The team will be pushed right up against the cap again, and unless someone is dealt, or Maroon takes a pay cut (again), he may be the only member of the championship team that isn’t back next season.