A Careful Look at the Blues’ Cap Situation

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Pat Maroon deserves a raise from his 2018-19 salary of $1.75 million.

Tomorrow, Doug Armstrong and the St. Louis Blues will be a step closer to knowing their opening night salary cap number.

It’s Joel Edmundson’s arbitration date tomorrow. And while a deal might be struck tonight, that seems unlikely because Edmundson and the Blues are far apart on the numbers. The Blues submitted a little over $2 million to the arbitrator, and Edmundson submitted over $4 million.

I love this numbers stuff. It’s kind of like playing fantasy, except with higher stakes. I imagine Doug Armstrong doesn’t love it, though. He’s the one responsible for getting everyone signed for under the salary cap of $81.5 million. As it stands now, the Blues have about $5 million in space. They have to fit in Edmundson and Barbashev in with that space, and then see if there’s any left over for Pat Maroon.

Now the Blues can send Pouliot and MacEachern to the AHL to give themselves an extra $1.4 million in space. And they could at some point send down Blais for even more breathing room.

The Blues front office would be wise to give themselves $2-3 million in wiggle room, for mid-season acquisitions.

Personally, I’m in the camp of “trade Edmundson.” He wasn’t a regular in the lineup this past season, which is to say he didn’t really earn his $3 million salary. The Blues already have defensemen Pietrangelo, Bouwmeester, Dunn, Parayko, Gunnarsson, Bortuzzo, Pouliot, and Reinke under contract. They don’t need Edmundson, and certainly not for multiple years. Pietrangelo and Schenn are free agents after the next season. The Blues need all the cap space they can give themselves. This is a prime opportunity to get some cap room without sacrificing much.

So we’ll see what tomorrow brings. If the difference is split, and Edmundson is awarded a small raise in the $3.2 million range, the Blues will have under $2 million for Barbashev.

Cutting it awful close.




One thought on “A Careful Look at the Blues’ Cap Situation

  1. The Blues will be required to send down Pouliot or MacEachern (likely both) after they sign Eddy and Barbashev, as they would be over the maximum roster limit of 23. They will likely send down both and carry a roster of 22 to better manage the cap, as they did for much of last year. This will give Army $6.5M to sign Eddy and Barbashev. Assuming $3.3 for Eddy and $1.7 for Barbashev, this leaves $1.5 in cap space as hedge or to sign Maroon. Likely held in reserve, with Maroon signing elsewhere.


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