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Finally, it’s done. Erik Johnson, the last of the Blues restricted free agents, has signed a 2 year, $5.2million contract extension. The cap hit will be $2.6m per season.
Just like David Perron, Erik Johnson will still be a restricted free agent at the end of his contract and this is basically a way for the Blues to say “show us what you’ve got”. It gives the Blues time to evaluate properly and ensure these players grow and subsequently earn a bigger contract. Doug Armstrong, Blues GM, told Jeremy Rutherford at the Post-Dispatch:
“Our younger players, when they’re coming out of entry level, they’ve all progressed, but they haven’t been defined. By taking contracts at shorter term, you allow them to grow and make a fair-market value moving forward.”
In the same article by Jeremy Rutherford, Erik Johnson had this to say:
“I just told my agent I wanted to get it done,” Johnson said. “We were mulling over some offers for a while, but thus is what we wanted to do. I’m really grateful that the Blues have invested this in me.
“I know myself, and all the young guys included, plan on really going out and showing that we’re going to step up and take control of the team.”
So, this is it. The RFA’s are signed – but is the team set? Who knows.