Blues: Robert Thomas Signs Massive Contract Extension

Robert Thomas, St. Louis Blues (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Robert Thomas, St. Louis Blues (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Blues re-signed 24-year-old center Robert Thomas to an 8-year contract extension Wednesday morning.

The team announced that the deal is worth $65 million over those eight seasons, with an annual average value (AAV) of $8.125 million each season. The contract will kick in at the start of the 2023-2024 regular season.

Thomas emerged as one of the Blues’ best players this past season, taking over the full-time second-line center spot for the majority of the season.

Thomas totaled career-highs in goals (20), assists (57), and points (77) this past season and was a centerpiece on both the power play and penalty kill units that ranked top-five in the NHL during the regular season.

The Blues re-signed one of their young stars to a long-term contract extension.

In the first of many expected moves this off-season, Doug Armstrong made it clear that getting this contract done was at the top of his priority list when announcing the deal Wednesday afternoon at his press conference.

"“We look at him as the centerpiece of our organization moving forward. “"

Thomas was one of many potential free agents for the Blues next off-season. Captain Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Ivan Barbashev are all currently slated to become UFA’s at the end of the 2022-2023 season, and 24-year-old standout Jordan Kyrou is expected to become a restricted free agent as well.

It will be interesting to watch to see if Armstrong tries to handle extensions with both O’Reilly and Kyrou early this off-season similarly to Thomas or if he will wait to see how the rest of free agency plays out with their current salary cap.

The St. Louis Blues cap struggles have been well-documented recently as the team has yet to re-sign David Perron due to the team’s financial restraints.

Thomas’ new contract does not kick in until next season, but Armstrong and the Blues will have to look at their money flexibility beyond this season in order to make judgments on potential long-term free agent signings this off-season.

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Knowing Doug Armstrong and the St. Louis Blues, they are far from done when it comes to making moves. The question now becomes which domino is next to fall for this franchise, and what tricks does Armstrong have up his sleeve this off-season.