As if Patrik Berglund’s three-year, $11.1 million contract extension wasn’t puzzling enough as is, here’s another piece of info about his deal which is going to anger plenty of Blues fans. Berglund’s new deal has a limited no-trade clause.
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) June 30, 2014
It’s pretty odd that this detail took several days to emerge. Writers such as Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch even wrote about the fact Berglund did not have a no-trade clause only to find out he actually has one a couple days later.
Obviously the fact Berglund now owns this clause changes the entire focus of his new contract. When the contract was first announced, it looked like a deal put in place before a trade. The NHL Draft unfolded, Berglund remained with the club and here we are. He later stated he wants to stay and play in St. Louis, which now may be what happens as he’ll be harder to move now that there’s a clause waiting down the road to take effect. The Blues can still move him, but they’re under the gun to do it before the clause takes hold and they’ll have to suffer through the fact the clause weakens Berglund’s already low value.
Keep in mind that his most recent contract, a one-year, $3.25 million contract, was supposed to be a “prove yourself” deal. Berglund proved he’s capable of slumping for long stretches and he ended up only contributing 32 points in 78 games. He was also one of the biggest non-factors in the playoff bout with Chicago. Remarkably, that effort earned him a new deal, a raise AND a no-trade clause. Just incredible. You can make the argument that his new deal is inline with other contracts around the league due to the adjusted salary cap, but it still looks like the Blues are rewarding a player who continually disappoints.
Most Blues moves, such as their recent trade of Roman Polak, have a very clear meaning. Most decisions from the front office are logical and even if you don’t agree with them, you can make a strong case as to why they’re the right move. The Berglund deal is an entirely different entity. The club may still move him prior to his no-trade clause taking hold, but it’ll certainly be more difficult. Teams are going to be wary of the clause waiting in the wings.