After a busy first day of free agency which saw the Blues deal out a lengthy contract to Robert Thomas, re-sign Nick Leddy, and sign Noel Accicari, Doug Armstrong has locked up six free agents to new deals.
Scott Perunovich, Nathan Walker and Joshua Leivo were all signed to one year, one-way contracts. Anthony Angello, Matthew Highmore, and Dylan McLaughlin all signed one year, two way deals to help shore up the depth in Springfield after Dakota Joshua’s signing with the Vancouver Canucks and the probable retirement of James Neal.
Perunovich, Walker, and Leivo are all signed for the bargain basement price of $750,000 each, which could prove smart in the long term. Walker and Leivo will see them as UFAs at the end of the deal, so there’s motivation for a raise just in case they want to sweeten the market. Perunovich at $750,000 is, if he can stay healthy, an absolute steal of a bridge deal that could result in a large payday for a future cornerstone.
We know what we’re getting with Nathan Walker, who should continue to be a heart and soul guy for the team and a pest for the opposition. Leivo is the wild card here, as he's clearly meant to stick with the lineup and has played 214 NHL games (38G, 39A) in his career and was awarded the AHL’s playoff MVP as part of the Wolves’ eventual Calder Cup victory over the Thunderbirds. He’s bounced back and forth between the AHL and NHL in his career but a good showing with the Blues could help him stick in the NHL.
After the signings, the Blues have $1,762,000 in free cap space as per CapFriendly.com. Niko Mikkola remains the only NHL roster pending RFA still unsigned.