T.J. Oshie Signs Five-Year Extension with St. Louis
T.J. Oshie has agreed to a five-year, $20.875 million contract to remain with the St. Louis Blues through the 2016-17 season. The Blues were able to reach a deal with Oshie just hours before his arbitration hearing was set to take place on Friday morning. Instead of going through the arbitration process – one that can hurt feelings on both sides of the table – the club was able to get Oshie locked up for five more seasons.
The deal will pay Oshie $4.175 million a season for the next five seasons. It carries an identical hit to the salary cap.
Oshie deserved a hefty raise following his production during the 2011-12 season. In 2011-12, Oshie set a new career-high in both goals – 19 – and in points – 54. He proved the critics wrong and demonstrated that he could be a well rounded player both on and off the ice. The issues surrounding Oshie’s behavior away from the rink faded into a distant memory as he proved that he was capable of being an outstanding hockey player last year.
Reaching a deal with Oshie wasn’t easy. The club made it known that they didn’t want to pay Oshie more than their captain, David Backes ($4.5 million). Both sides wanted a long-term deal but it seems like the Blues were focused on a three or four-year deal while Oshie was asking for a longer contract.
My personal opinion is that this is yet another quality move by the Blues. The team would have been foolish to let Oshie walk over a difference of a year on his contract. They would have not only damaged the quality of the club but would have lost arguably the most popular player on the team – especially among female fans. If Oshie can build on his very successful 2011-12, the Blues may have walked away with another bargain – see David Perron. He is a great two-way player. Last season saw him range well behind his own net to retrieve the puck. Offensively, we’ve seen Oshie score some truly remarkable goals that seemingly defy the laws of physics. At 25 Oshie could build upon his NHL experience and turn into an even better player at the NHL level.
Blues fans can relax. Their favorites are all locked into new, long-term contracts. The romance (and bromance) with T.J. Oshie will continue on in St. Louis for at least another five years.