Patrik Berglund has agreed to a one-year, $3.25 extension with the St. Louis Blues, as reported by Jeremy Rutherford. One of the team's pending restricted free agents, Berglund is now locked up through the 2013-14 season.
At 25, Berglund has skated with the Blues since the 2008-09 season. He has appeared in 358 regular season games and has scored 92 goals and 96 assists. He just completed a two-year, $4.5 million contract. Unfortunately, as a member of the team's main offensive core, Berglund has been criticized for his inability to take his game to a higher level.
What should we make of his new contract?
Berglund sticking with the Blues shouldn't come as much of a surprise after Doug Armstrong openly stated that he would match any offer sheet given to Berglund, Chris Stewart, Kevin Shattenkirk or Alex Pietrangelo. The length of his contract also falls in line with what most fans expected. Berglund is still in the "prove yourself" stage of his career and a one-year contract still gives the Blues plenty of flexibility if things don't work out.
Barring a trade, it's clear the Blues want to at least give Berglund one more shot. He was second on the team in goals this past season, finding the back of the net 17 times. Berglund nearly matched his goal total from 2011-12 (19) in just over half the time. You could make a strong argument that Berglund played the best hockey of his still fairly young career during the abbreviated season.
Berglund is a member of a St. Louis core which has failed to bring home a title. He and several other teammates are all at risk of being shown the door if they don't start producing at a higher rate. Berglund's new deal is one that nearly every NHL team would be happy paying should the Blues find a trade which works in their favor.
Armstrong has once again made a sensible decision which works out for everyone involved. The Blues retain a player with plenty of upside for a modest price. Meanwhile, Berglund receives a small raise (relatively speaking) for his improved performance in 2013, but he's kept hungry and motivated by the fact he's still playing for a new contract.
On an unrelated note, it will still be fun using the ol' "Teach me how to Bergie!" celebration whenever the forward tallies a goal. It's a personal favorite.