David Perron’s second stint with the Blues has come to an end earlier than expected.
The St. Louis Blues will lose forward David Perron to the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL expansion draft, as Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported Wednesday afternoon. The decision ends several days of speculation about who the Golden Knights would take, with many Blues fans hoping that center Jori Lehtera would be selected.
As it turns out, the 29-year-old Perron’s second stint in St. Louis lasted just one season. After breaking into the NHL as a 19-year-old after being selected by the Blues in the first round back in 2007, Perron spent six seasons in St. Louis before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers following the 2012-13 season. He returned to the Blues last summer on a two-year, $7.5 million-dollar deal, and he was rather productive during the regular season, scoring 18 goals with 28 assists while playing in all 82 games and bringing a more noticeable defensive element to his game than Blues fans saw from him during his first tenure with the club.
Perron didn’t impress during the postseason, though–not exactly a shocking development, as he had just 13 points in 31 playoff games coming into the 2016-17 postseason–as he collected just one assist while accumulating eight penalty minutes over 11 games. With the Blues bringing back Vladimir Sobotka and getting solid production from a few other young wingers, they obviously decided that life without Perron was feasible.
With Perron gone, the most likely candidates to claim the open forward spot among the Blues’ top nine next season are Magnus Paajarvi, Zach Sanford, and Ivan Barbashev. Obviously, they could also explore the free-agent and trade markets, where guys like Justin Williams, T.J. Oshie, and Nick Bonino are available.