St. Louis Blues Bring Back Kyle Brodziak on Two-Year Deal

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

24 The St. Louis Blues were quick in re-signing the best fourth-line center that they’ve had in a while.

The St. Louis Blues announced on Monday that they’ve re-signed center Kyle Brodziak to a two-year contract with an average annual value of $950,000. The 32-year-old had seven goals and four assists in 76 games last year, then added two goals over 20 playoff contests.

Brodziak is the second of their five unrestricted free agent forwards that the Blues have brought back this offseason, following winger Scottie Upshall, who was re-signed to a one-year, $900,000 deal last week. It’s extremely unlikely that Steve Ott will return, though the Blues’ decision to trade goalie Brian Elliott at the draft could give them a greater chance to bring back David Backes and Troy Brouwer, which would make for a much better retention rate than most people expected at the beginning of the offseason.

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With Brodziak back in the fold, it should be interesting to see what the Blues’ plans are for Vladimir Sobotka, who’s expected to return to the NHL and play under a $2.7 million-dollar contract in 2016-17 after spending the last two seasons in the KHL. The 5-foot-10, 197-pounder has career-highs of nine goals and 24 assists in the NHL, so if he keeps up that type of production, he’s a lower-end third line player at best. With Upshall and Brodziak back in the fold, though, there doesn’t seem to be a fit for him on the fourth line, unless they’re willing to play him on his non-dominant side at right wing, which would presumably send Ryan Reaves to the press box, as well as diminishing Dmitrij Jaskin’s chances for playing time if Brouwer is re-signed.