With Troy Brouwer seemingly out of the picture, the St. Louis Blues brought back an old friend to boost their forward corps.
Though his departure hasn’t officially been confirmed yet, all signs pointed to free agent winger Troy Brouwer going to the Calgary Flames as free agency opened on Friday. Thus, the St. Louis Blues were quick to react, bringing back old friend David Perron on a two-year deal worth a total of $7.75 million. Perron will have a cap hit of $3.75 million per season. The winger began his career with the Blues, but has spent time with the Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Anaheim Ducks over the past three seasons.
Perron spent the first six seasons of his career in St. Louis, and over 340 games he scored 84 goals and added 114 assists while accumulating a plus-45 rating. He also added two goals and seven assists in 19 playoff games with the Blues.
Though Perron was widely viewed as an immature player who didn’t really fit the Blues’ style of play when he was dealt three seasons ago, he’s now had a long while to mature, while the Blues’ offense has gradually become more skill-oriented over time. With that said, his best days may also be behind him.
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After having a career-best season during which he scored 28 goals and added 29 assists with the Oilers in 2013-14–his first season after being traded–his production has pretty much regressed to the mean over the past two years. He’s been traded during both seasons, collecting a combined 17 goals and 25 assists between Edmonton and Pittsburgh in 2014-15 before scoring 12 goals and adding 24 assists in 71 games between Pittsburgh and Anaheim this season.
It’s also perhaps concerning that the Penguins basically did a 180 and became Cup contenders right after he was traded. In the 43 games before he was dealt to Anaheim, Pittsburgh was just 20-16-7. In the 39 games after his departure, they were 28-10-1. There’s also the ongoing issue of how Perron will be affected by the aftermath of a concussion that he suffered at the hands of Joe Thornton in late 2010; though he’s played nearly every game for the past four seasons, the concussion nearly ended his career and kept him out for over a year.
The Blues have been able to effectively nurture several players in the past, such as Alexander Steen and Andy MacDonald, who have dealt with serious concussion issues, but giving out a multi-year contract to a player with those issues is interesting nonetheless.