Jaden Schwartz wises up with Blues deal

St. Louis Blues' Jaden Schwartz (9) looks up after missing a shot during the first period in Game 6 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago, Sunday, April 27, 2014. The Blackhawks won 5-1. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The immediate reaction from the hockey world to Jaden Schwartz’s 2-year, $4.7-million contract was that it’ll kick Ryan Johansen’s contract demands down a few notches with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

I’m not sure I see the correlation, other than the fact that both players had RFA status and missed part of training camp. Johansen is positioned as a franchise player; Schwartz could be great, but he’s less vital at the moment (some of this has to do with the positions they play). Johansen is seeking a home-run contract; Schwartz seemed happy with a short-term deal.

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But most of all: The Jackets have over $14 million in cap space; the Blues had $2.783 million before signing Schwartz. He was going to get what the Blues were going to give him, because he wasn’t even eligible for an offer sheet.

So rather than extend the charade that he was going to get anything that pushed the Blues over the cap, Schwartz signed for an AAV of $2.35 million.

From GM Doug Armstrong to the Post-Dispatch:

"So I think he's going to be behind the rest of the group. The good thing is, he's been training hard and he's young, I so I think he'll be able to physically catch up to the group. I think it's his timing and we have new players on the team that he doesn't know. He's going to have to take a crash course into understanding the way they play and how he can complement what they need and they can complement what he needs. I wish he was here obviously 10 days ago, but that's water under the bridge now. We'll get him in here Monday and we have three games left, Ken (Hitchcock) will find out when he's ready to play and hopefully he'll get into a couple of those games."

Schwartz had 25 goals and 31 assists last season. Two more seasons like that, and he’ll make bank on his next deal.