As summer come to an end, many free agents in NHL remains unsigned. Many unsigned players are struggling to negotiate for a favorable salary or favorable length offered in the new deal. The latter is the case of St. Louis Blues Ivan Barbashev.
Many thought that Barbashev would have no issue getting a new deal. Blues GM Doug Armstrong will now have the upper hand in any negotiations before signing Barbashev. But Blues has to wait for Joel Edmundson’s arbitration hearing before signing him. Meanwhile, Barbashev remains without a deal.
Barbashev deal seemed easy to sign, but know it’s dragging on, something that will attract the attention of the fans. Armstrong himself sounded shaky when talking about the deal. Armstrong didn’t rule out the idea of Barbashev moving out of NHL next season in favor of KHL. Jeremy Rutherford also indicated in a Tweeter post that Barbashev is ready to take any option.
Barbashev Performance While In the Blues
He is one of the best players in Blues lineup. Last season, during the team resurgence, he rose to become one of the fans’ favorite. He recorded 26 points in 80 games and fourteen goals. He also recorded 25 points in the playoff games and led the league with 87 hitting during the postseason.
At the same postseason, Barbashev was among the best Blues penalty guru ranking fourth behind Alexander Steen, Ryan O’Reilly and Oskar Sundqvist. He provided a reliable fourth-line center which was essential to the historic postseason run.
While the fourth line is usually unimportant, Barbashev provided solid trio backing to the lineup. Though he has not reached where the pre-draft expectations had hoped, he remains a vital asset for St. Blues. Thus it will be a tough option to replace him.
What Options Will Blues Have In Case They Replace Barbashev?
Incase Blues lose Barbashev, they will have plenty of options to replace him. Mostly well-deserving veteran in the minor will take his position and make their debut in the NHL.