The Blues had an interesting first day of free agency as they saw David Perron walk as he took his talents to Detroit. At the same time, the Blues didn’t make any crazy moves; they did make a few, including locking up their young center, Robert Thomas, long-term. The Blues also inked veteran defenseman Nick Leddy to a four-year deal and are still shopping Vladimir Tarasenko and Torey Krug.
Locking up the 23-year-old Thomas was a no-brainer as he has first-line talent and is a building block for this team. In his rookie year back in 2018-2019, Thomas helped the Blues win the Stanley Cup after appearing in 70 regular season games scoring nine goals and 24 assists for 33 points. In the playoffs that year, he had one goal and five assists for six points. Last season he scored 20 goals and tallied 57 assists for 77 points in 72 games as he set career highs across the board and proved he would be a point per game player for years to come.
Locking up Thomas for eight years at $8 million annually, the Blues will have their top center signed through the 2030-2031 season. They can now build around him as they will look to compete for the Cup each season. The Blues have plenty of skill to be a playoff team each season, and by spending on Thomas, they are committed to building a new core with Perron gone and Tarasenko having one foot out the door.
General manager Doug Armstrong will have to clear some more cap space this off-season and sign more top-end talent if they wish to compete in a loaded Central Division. Their next focus will be on finding a forward to replace the 27 goals and 57 points they lost when Perron walked.