Jun 30, 2011, 10:40 AM EDT
T.J. Oshie‘s past season was one that saw him struggle with injuries and with keeping appointments with his team. Luckily for him, the St. Louis Blues still like his play and they want to see if he can grow up a little bit more and while he was set to become a restricted free agent this summer, they’re not letting him get away just yet.
St. Louis signed Oshie to a one-year contract worth $2.35 million to bring him back in to play his brand of game at center for the Blues. When Oshie is on, he’s got the ability to score points as well as defend well against opposing top centers. As a 24 year-old he’s ideally a rising star in the league. Working against him in that department is how he struggled a bit off the ice culminating in a moment where he didn’t show up for a mandatory team practice.
Oshie was benched by the Blues for two games following that unexcused absence and it made some question just how dedicated to hockey he was. The Blues and GM Doug Armstrong giving a hopeful young player just a one year deal like this smacks of it being a “prove your worth” type of deal for Oshie.
Oshie was poised for a breakout season last year before injury slowed him down holding him to playing in just 49 games last season. He finished the year with 12 goals and 20 assists and is capable of much more than that. If he can keep himself focused on the game, he’ll get the long term deal he’s looking for to seal up his future. If he can’t do that though… He’ll become someone else’s rescue project.
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