Oshie Signs One-Year Extension
Today, the St. Louis Blues announced that they had come to terms with T.J. Oshie to the tune of a one-year, $2.35 million contract extension. The deal is one that appears to be a perfect fit for both Oshie as a player but also for the organization.
First, it is nice to be able to say welcome back T.J. Oshie – for one more season at least. All the off-ice issues aside, Oshie is a dynamic two-way forward that can easily change the pace or flow of a game with a bit of offensive wizardry or a huge crushing hit. A favorite among fans, it should appease the vast majority that Oshie will be returning in 2011-12.
As mentioned above, the one-year, $2.35 million contract seems to be a perfect fit for both Oshie and the Blues.
From the organization angle, it’s clear the Blues aren’t in a position to splash out on large contracts as they continue to make due without an owner. Also, Oshie hasn’t yet proven he is worthy of a larger, lengthier contract. For starters, he needs to prove that his playing style won’t continue to cause injuries that keep him sidelined for chunks of the season. Through his first three years, Oshie has skated in 57, 76 and 49 regular season games. Obviously, the team would like to see remain healthy and be ready to go each and every night. If he continues to be an injury risk, the Blues will be thankful they didn’t lock him up for too many years.
Offensively, Oshie has produced 39, 48 and 34 points. Yes, the talent is undoubtedly there, but you can’t give a sizable deal to a player that has only cracked the 40-point barrier once.
From Oshie’s perspective, it’s important to remember he is a young, talented forward. He’s aware that the club he plays for doesn’t have an owner and probably realizes that an impressive 2011-12 season could pave the way for a hefty contract next summer – whether with St. Louis or from a different club.
Both sides should consider the 2011-12 season as a “prove yourself” year for Oshie in the NHL. Now is the time to really see what type of player Oshie can be given a larger sample.
Popularity in St. Louis aside, Oshie needs to prove he can be more than a fan-favorite that can bring spark to the game from time to time. The Blues need him to be much more than that, and he’ll have to live up to expectations if he expects to receive any larger offers in 2012-13.