Skip to content

Blues, Schwartz ‘significantly apart’ in contract talks, says agent

Sep 3, 2014, 3:39 PM EDT

Jaden Schwartz AP

Jaden Schwartz‘s agent Wade Arnott told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford that the sides are “significantly apart” regarding contract negotiations as of Wednesday.

Such news is disquieting enough out of context, but when you consider recent negotiations between GM Doug Armstrong and other Blues players, this report seems that much more unsettling.

(Rutherford notes that more details are expected to emerge, so this post may be updated with further information. Perhaps we’ll get a more concrete idea regarding how far the two parties are apart?)

Playing hard ball

Earlier this summer, Vladimir Sobotka raised eyebrows by signing a deal in the KHL over what his agent claims was a $300K difference. Armstrong didn’t seem concerned about re-signing Schwartz in mid-July, yet training camps rapidly approach with no deal.

It’s not as if this summer is just an isolated incident; the team went through protracted negotiations with star defenseman Alex Pietrangelo before inking him to a deal on Sep. 13, 2013.

On the other hand, there are a few reasons why it’s not fair to totally dismiss Armstrong’s tactics.

Methods to the madness

For one thing, Schwartz is a lot like Ryan Johansen in that he saw such a leap in 2013-14 that it makes for a negotiating conundrum.

He managed a 25-goal, 56-point campaign (ranking right behind David Backes‘ 57 points for fourth in team scoring) after generating 16 points in 52 games between the 2012-13 and 2011-12 seasons. The 22-year-old’s reps can argue that he’ll only produce at a higher level next season and beyond while the Blues would likely contend that he needs to prove that he can replicate (or improve upon) that effort before getting a heftier deal.

Losing Sobotka is obviously far from ideal, but Armstrong could also argue that his methods work more often than not. Paul Stastny carries the highest cap hit at $7 million per season, but most of the Blues’ core players are playing at or or below market value (Pietrangelo’s $6.5 million looks like a bargain when you consider how much P.K. Subban cost, for example).

Actually, cap concerns bring up one other big sticking point. Cap Geek estimates the Blues’ cap space at around $2.78 million, and while Armstrong can move a contract or two around (23 roster spots are currently represented in that estimate), the bottom line is that St. Louis only has so much breathing room when it comes to locking Schwartz back up.

Considering the variables at hand, it’s easy to see why there’s a gulf between the two sides. Still, the question remains: how long will this drag on?

Latest Posts
  1. Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win

    May 28, 2015, 11:16 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptrjmddjzwzioti1mmuymzk2njjjmzkwndizmmuyodfh AP

    “They need to hear our anthem, that’s a part of losing.”

  2. Chicago’s Sharp on Game 7 confidence (and Mario Kart)

    May 28, 2015, 10:02 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptk3ztbjztrjndbimtgynza0mjy1ndyynjbkmzi4zmyy AP

    Sharp says Blackhawks are ready for “whatever [the Ducks] throw at us.”

  3. Bolts shrug off talk of Madison Square Garden ‘mystique’

    May 28, 2015, 8:58 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers - Game Five Getty Images

    Victor Hedman: “We’re prepared for this.”

  4. Devils’ Shero: No decision yet regarding Clowe’s future

    May 28, 2015, 7:47 PM EDT

    Ryane Clowe AP

    Retirement remains a possibility, and it might be his call.

  5. Schmaltz to Schwartz? Blues sign 2012 first-rounder

    May 28, 2015, 6:35 PM EDT

    2012 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits 2012 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits

    Even their first names are similar (Jordan and Jaden). Fun times ahead …

  6. Politician accuses ‘separatist’ Peladeau of turning NHL off Quebec City

    May 28, 2015, 5:28 PM EDT

    Nordiques Rally Hockey AP

    “The fact that Mr. Peladeau is a separatist…we know very well whether it’s the owners of the team in Toronto or the owners of the Canadiens, they’re not separatists and they don’t want Quebec to separate.”

  7. DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose

    May 28, 2015, 4:52 PM EDT

    Peter DeBoer Getty Images

    Says that “the expectation is to win right now.”

  8. (Video) PHT Extra: Health, not history, should be Lightning’s major concern

    May 28, 2015, 3:48 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Six Getty Images

    Meanwhile, in the West, Corey Crawford has the edge in big-game experience over Frederik Andersen.

  9. Sabres name Bylsma head coach

    May 28, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT

    BOSTON, MA - JUNE 05:  Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins speaks to the media following a 2-1 double overtime loss to the Boston Bruins during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on June 5, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Pens to receive third-round pick in 2016 as compensation.

  10. ’15 Draft prospect Connor wins USHL Player of the Year

    May 28, 2015, 2:21 PM EDT

    USA Blue v USA White - 2014 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp Getty Images

    After scoring 80 points in 56 games for Youngstown.

  11. Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’

    May 28, 2015, 2:08 PM EDT

    Canadiens Rangers Hockey AP

    Rangers goalie knows he can’t rely on history to defeat the Lightning.

  12. Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue

    May 28, 2015, 1:04 PM EDT

    BOSTON, MA - JUNE 05:  Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins speaks to the media following a 2-1 double overtime loss to the Boston Bruins during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on June 5, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The former Penguins coach is still under contract to Pittsburgh.

  13. Report: Roy wants to bring Radulov to Colorado

    May 28, 2015, 12:27 PM EDT

    Radulov AP

    Former Preds forward, who played for Roy in junior, is currently with KHL club CSKA.

  14. Terry Murray would ‘absolutely’ take job as Hakstol’s assistant

    May 28, 2015, 12:22 PM EDT

    Buffalo Sabres v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    Has spent the past three seasons coaching the Flyers’ AHL affiliate.

  15. Report: Gagne wants to resume playing career

    May 28, 2015, 12:05 PM EDT

    St. Louis Blues v Boston Bruins Getty Images

    Spent part of last season with the Bruins

Featured video

Which teams have the Game 7 edge?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. R. Nash (1563)
  2. M. Carle (1511)
  3. K. Yandle (1356)
  4. A. Vermette (1343)
  5. N. Horton (1336)