According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the St. Louis Blues are closing in on a four-year extension with defenseman Nick Leddy. The team confirmed a four-year deal worth $4MM per season. Leddy was originally acquired by the Blues from the Detroit Red Wings in a mid-season trade.
In St. Louis, Leddy provided what he’s provided at pretty much every stop of his 851-game NHL career. He’s a defenseman who’s at his best with the puck on his stick, moving the play up the ice in order to get his team into the offensive zone. Leddy is among the smoothest-skating veteran defensemen in hockey, and although his offensive production hasn’t been where one might assume it would be for a defenseman of that profile, he’s no slouch there either. Leddy had a healthy eight points in 20 games in St. Louis and five in the team’s playoff run. Leddy could be routinely counted on for 40-plus points in his days as a New York Islander, although those days are likely over.
At 31 years old, the Blues are likely getting a defenseman who can help ease some of Justin Faulk’s transition-game load. A point total of around 30 would be a reasonable expectation for Leddy, and the hope has to be that he doesn’t age too poorly, as this deal will take him until he’s 35 years old. The Blues will need to shelter Leddy a bit, as he’s far from an effective defensive defenseman, but if coach Craig Berube can deploy him effectively he’ll be a strong addition to a Blues club intent on competing for a Stanley Cup in the near future.
One note is the structure of the deal: the contract is mostly front-loaded, with the salary declining by around $500k per year, per reports. With that in mind, the Blues could be structuring the deal so it can be easily traded in a cap-dumping move similar to the ones we have seen already this offseason.