The St. Louis Blues come into this offseason with some questions surrounding the roster, particularly with their top unrestricted free agents. The 2021-22 season came to an end earlier than hoped but overall, it was a fun season and one of their best in franchise history. The Blues’ top free agents consist of a mix of forwards, defensemen, and goaltending. Their championship window is still very much open and it’ll be interesting to see what moves are made this offseason to ensure that it stays that way.
St. Louis Blues: Top Unrestricted Free Agents
David Perron (F)
The Blues have some decisions to make this offseason and keeping David Perron is one of them as he is one of their top unrestricted free agents. He joined them for his third stint with the team after signing a four-year contract in 2018. The third time must have been the charm as he helped bring the Blues their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. You could say this time around has been his best as he’s scored 20+ goals in three of the four seasons. This past season, Perron scored 27 goals while adding 30 assists.
While Perron’s play in the regular season has been great, his performance in the playoffs is what the team has needed the most. He had 16 points during the cup run and this past season he’s scored nine goals in 12 games, including a hat trick in the first round. Perron has come up big when the team has needed him and letting him go in free agency would be questionable in many’s eyes.
Nick Leddy (D)
The Blues acquired Nick Leddy from the Red Wings at the trade deadline, knowing he’d be a rental. Now after seeing how he’s played for the team, entertaining the idea of bringing him back wouldn’t be a bad thought. He’s not offense-minded, which isn’t what the Blues were looking for. The Blues all season long were looking for a defensive defenseman and they got one. Since coming over, Leddy has seemingly been good at getting the puck out of the defensive zone and sometimes rushing up ice to carry it out into the offensive zone, both areas the team has struggled in.
Leddy’s absence for a few games in the playoffs was very noticeable and maybe that’s something to keep in mind going into the offseason. His veteran presence and hockey mind are exactly what the Blues need going forward on the blue line during their championship window.
Ville Husso (G)
Some think Ville Husso increased his value in free agency this offseason after having an outstanding regular season. He went 25-7-6 in 38 starts with a .919 save percentage and a 2.56 goals-against average. Husso took over as the number one goaltender and didn’t look back, earning the first start in round one against the Wild. He earned a shutout in his first-ever playoff start but it went downhill from there. He lost the next two against Minnesota while giving up 5+ goals in each, making way for Binnington to get the start in every game after until game four of the second round.
Husso had to come in relief for Binnington in game three against the Avalanche due to injury. He gave up 3+ goals in his four starts in the second round. Overall, Husso went 2-5 in the playoffs with an 8.90 save percentage and a 3.67 goals-against average. While not all his fault, there were a few goals Ville would love to have back. The Blues would still love to keep him around as a solid backup to Binnington.
Tyler Bozak (F)
Tyler Bozak signed a three-year contract in 2018 and was an intricate part of the 2019 Stanley Cup team. He scored 13 goals in his first two seasons in St. Louis and was important as a third/fourth line center for this team. Fast forward to now and Bozak isn’t getting any younger.
The 36 years old signed a one-year contract to stay in St. Louis for this past season but has dealt with injuries and being a healthy scratch. His ice time has decreased and there have been young guys stepping up in his place. Bozak is replaceable so he would be the most likely to leave but his time in St. Louis won’t be forgotten if he is in fact gone.
Remaining Unrestricted Free Agents
James Neal (F)
MacKenzie MacEachern (F)
Calle Rosen (D)
Charlie Lindgren (G)
Tommy Cross (D)
Sam Anas (F)