With the All-Star break stretching out to ten days for the Blues - they haven’t played since their January 29th loss to the Winnipeg Jets - Doug Armstrong hasn’t gone on vacation. Today the Blues announced two contract extensions for their most blue-collar players. Logan Brown has been extended on a one-year, one way contract worth $750,000, and Robert Bortuzzo has been extended for two years at an AAV of $950,000.
Brown’s one-year deal is an additional year of his RFA time, so he will still be property of the Blues’ when the show me season is done. This year, Brown started off impressive but has cooled a bit as his responsibilities have increased. Overall, though, he’s been a physical and consistent replacement for Zach Sanford, scoring three goals and adding three assists in 17 GP. He hasn’t appeared on the points sheet since December 17th against the Dallas Stars. The term and length aren’t an upgrade over what Ottawa offered him last season, but the one-way portion of his contract is a new development.
Robert Bortuzzo’s two year deal might be a reward of consistency for a defenseman who puts forth effort every night, but if you look closer there’s a caveat to that theory - the AAV has dropped. Bort’s two year, one way deal is worth $950,000 a season. His previous three year deal, inked with the Blues in 2019, had an AAV of $1.375 million. Bortuzzo’s been a third-pairing defenseman, barring necessity, since the year that he came to St. Louis, and he’s getting paid to that expectation - if not below it. Doug Armstrong has conserved a bit of cap space for next season with this deal, but Army’s willingness to give a pay cut should be a wakeup call to anyone else up for a new deal in the next couple of years.