Jordan Binnington is currently on only a two-year deal with the St. Louis Blues. If he’s not as dominant as he was during their 2019 Stanley Cup success, will he get a longer contract?
There is no doubt that Jordan Binnington was the true MVP as the St. Louis Blues won their first championship in franchise history in 2018-19, but the goaltender’s star has dropped somewhat since his breakout campaign.
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Cam Ward had a very fulfilling NHL career, mostly with the Carolina Hurricanes. Unfortunately for him, it peaked too early. Then again, if you lead your team to a Stanley Cup championship and win the Conn Smythe in your rookie season, it’s very hard to top that.
The rest of Ward’s career seemed to pale in comparison. It looks like Jordan Binnington might be heading down the same path with the St. Louis Blues. Binnington won the Stanley Cup in his rookie season, and broke Ward’s record of most Playoff wins in a rookie season by a goaltender with 16.
Binnington hasn’t reached those same heights since. Although he had a great regular-season last year, after the NHL returned to play his Blues were eliminated in the First Round as Binnington posted a .851 Save Percentage along with a 4.72 Goals Against Average. So far this season Binnington has righted the ship a little bit with a 2.53 GAA and a .913 Save Percentage, but there was also the stretch of two recent games against the Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks that saw him post a SV% of .833 and .846 respectively. It’s also far from the star netminder we saw beat the Boston Bruins in 2019.
Are Jordan Binnington and the St. Louis Blues meant to be?
Back when St. Louis signed Binnington to a two year contract in the 2019 offseason, I was confused. Why wouldn’t you sign your seemingly franchise goaltender to a longer deal? Binnington was everything the Blues had searched for in the previous decade of various goalies. Sure, his success story came almost out of nowhere, but it looked like he was here to stay.
Let’s say Binnington doesn’t rebound from this poor play. While the Hurricanes spent over a decade committed to Ward after that 2006 Stanley Cup run, he was never really the same, except for the only subsequent return to the Playoffs in 2009. With Binnington’s contract expiring this year, could the Blues walk away from any commitment they have to their cup winning goalie?
At the end of this current contract, Jordan Binnington will be an Unrestricted Free Agent and can sign wherever. Understandably, Blues fans will want to keep the only goaltender to ever lead them to a Stanley Cup. Then again, even if his stay with St. Louis was short, he’s forever earned a place in Blues history. If Binnington can’t seem to recapture the magic he had in 2019 when the worst to first Blues shocked the hockey world, why keep him around? The sport will still be dealing with financial difficulties and the St. Louis Blues can’t spend money on sentimentality.
Maybe the St. Louis Blues will wish Binnington well and move on. After all, the Washington Capitals parted ways with their cup winning goaltender Braden Holtby this past offseason. Remember, hockey is a business.
There’s still a lot of time for things to change. Binnington could completely turn things around. All there is to say is with all things considered it seems possible Jordan Binnington might not be a member of the St. Louis Blues after this year, and that seemed so unlikely when he signed that “only” two-year contract.