On Tuesday, the independent arbitrator associated with Joel Edmundson and the St. Louis Blues’ contract dispute came to the conclusion that the 26-year-old blueliner should be in line for a $3.1 million payday. The Blues’ former second round pick from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft has blossomed into a very stable, shutdown defenceman, capable of providing offence when called upon.
Despite only earning a slight 3.33 percent raise from the even $3 million he earned during the 2018-19 season, money probably is not the biggest concern for Edmundson, who recently brought the Stanley Cup to his hometown of Brandon, after ending the past season as league champion.
Unable to come to a conclusion on appropriate value and term as a restricted free agent, Edmundson and the Blues opted to use an independent arbitrator to help sort out the logistics behind a new deal for the former AAA bantam and midget Brandon Wheat King. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound defenceman agreed to a one-year deal that will pay him $3.1 million, putting him in line for a large payday as an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020.
After breaking into the league in 2015-16, Edmundson has seen his role and point totals continue to grow over the past four seasons of NHL play. Following up a career 13 goals, 52 points and 248 penalty minutes in the regular season with another five goals, 14 points and 32 penalty minutes in the postseason, Edmundson added a goal and seven points to his season totals in an extended 22-game playoff run, en route to St. Louis’ first Stanley Cup victory.