The Blues have made it crystal clear that, after the loss of Alex Pietrangelo to the Vegas Golden Knights last off-season, Colton Parayko was their number one defenseman. Unfortunately due to a nagging back injury, Parayko was only able to suit up for 32 games last season, netting two goals and ten assists. It was clear that he was in discomfort for a large portion of the games that he played in, and with Vladimir Tarasenko’s allegations that the team mis-handled his shoulder surgery, it was easy to be concerned about what that meant for Parayko’s back.
It was also reason to be concerned about whether Parakyo would be back after the 2021-2022 season, as well. Would he pull a Tarasenko? Would the injury make this year a question mark before Parayko even entertained his future?
The concern about his back injury lingers, but the concern about his future with the Blues was put to rest today. The team announced an eight-year extension with the blueliner, worth $52 million. The AAV for this contract is an absolutely incredible $6.5 million.
A defenseman like Parayko, with his size and shot, would command much more than that on the open market. Instead, he took a hometown discount to stay with the team through 2030.
Parayko had this to say to stlouisblues.com:
“I can’t wait to wear the Blue Note for another nine years. St. Louis has been my home now for six seasons, and this is where I want to be. All the relationships I’ve gained, the teammates I’ve had, and the organization have all had a big impact on me. Winning here in 2019 was special, and I want the chance to stay here and do that again.”
If you were wondering what Winter Classic jersey to buy, here’s your answer. Parayko not only will be a member of the St. Louis Blues for a long time, if the cards fall right, he could be a Blue for the rest of his career. Judging from the contract AAV and the length, his focus was more on the crest on the front than the name on the back. It’s rare to see a professional athlete leave money on the table like this. Maybe it’ll go a ways to calm a fanbase still stung by Alex Pietrangelo.