Doug Armstrong and the St. Louis Blues strike again with another ‘Dunn’ deal.
Well, well, well, St. Louis Blues fans, for the second time in a week, your favorite team got the deal ‘Dunn’ – signing RFA forward Vince Dunn to a one-year deal worth $1.875 million, according to President of Hockey Operations/General Manager Doug Armstrong.
This move follows close behind the Blues’ exceptionally tricky decision to sign Mike Hoffman to a PTO heading into camp; a PTO with a handshake $4 million deal reportedly already agreed to under the table.
Though some initially expected Dunn to garner a much longer initial contract, as the 24-year-old is a vital cog for the Blues to replace departing captain Alex Pietrangelo – even if the two players technically played on the opposite sides of the line – retaining the former Mississauga, Ontario, Canada native just made sense moving forward.
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Measuring in at 6-foot, 203-pounds, Dunn is a speedy, athletic defenseman with an active stick, good instincts, and enough two-way upside to remain a key piece of the Blues’ future. In 224 regular season games of action, Dunn has recorded 26 goals, 56 assists, 174 blocks, and 127 hits in roughly 17:02 ATOI. Assuming Dunn bounced back from a down year in 2019-20 to a career- playing time number somewhere around 18 minutes of action a night, it’s entirely possible Dunn could parlay this one-time payday into a long-term home in St. Louis.
Now transplanted into the
Pacific West Division alongside the Colorado Avalanche and the Minnesota Wild, the St. Louis Blues have to be considered a borderline lock to finish top-3 and lock up a playoff spot in the abbreviated 56 game all-intradivision season.
Even if Dunn is stuck behind Torey Krug and Marco Scandella moving forward – the duo of veteran left defensemen the team committed over $58.6 million to in free agency- it’s unquestionable retaining the former 2015 second-round pick makes the Blues better now and keeps their playoff hopes shining incredibly bright.
For a GM like Armstrong, who has a knack for bold roster-building decisions, this move is unquestionably the right one – even if some fans question the contract’s length.
For the first time since 2008, the St. Louis Blues will enter the season without Alex Pietrangelo in their organization. While losing out on Petro is certainly a tough pill to swallow, retaining Vance Dunn, even on a one-year deal, helps that cause. Even if he remains a bottom-liner alongside Robert Bortuzzo, Dunn brings energy, offense, and a speedy change of pace behind Torey Krug and Marco Scandella that will force opposing teams to keep their foot on the gas a full 60 minutes of action a night – a luxury very few other NHL teams can confidently boast.