Looking at David Perron's return to St. Louis
The player: David Perron, 30, LW
Where does he fit in?
The Blues are knocking at the door of winning, but can’t quite get there yet. Their biggest area of need in the forward group is down the middle (and they addressed that with the Tyler Bozak signing), but they are also pretty weak on the left side. Jaden Schwartz remains the top-line left winger across from Vladimir Tarasenko. Patrik Berglund was the second-line left winger, and perhaps Perron supplants him there, or plays on the third line. After that, there’s not much to be excited about (Dmitrij Jaskin, Nikita Soshnikov), so Perron is definitely an upgrade. When looking at Perron’s career, it’s quite remarkable that he’s played for five different teams, but the Blues are the only one to actually sign him to a contract. This is his fifth with the organization. There’s clearly a comfortability factor there.
Does this deal make sense?
Let’s get sentiments out of the way. This is the first example of a Vegas Golden Misfit returning to the team that exposed him. Apparently you can go home again. It’s a sweet story. Everyone always presents the Blues as big-game hunters. We assumed they would be in on Evander Kane at last season’s trade deadline. We wanted them to be in on Ilya Kovalchuk or John Tavares. Instead, they keep signing second-tier players to slightly bloated contracts. This is probably too much money and term for a 30-year-old. Yes, Perron is coming off a career-year in assists (50) and points (66). Could he be having a late-career renaissance? Perhaps. But it will be a good case study in the 2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights. How much of the individual success was dependent on the greater team environment?
Overall Grade: B-minus
The Blues tailspinned at the end of last season and desperately needed players not on the first line to produce. In that sense, Perron adds value. Although he excelled with Vegas last season, Perron’s tenure with the Golden Knights was likely doomed by a poor playoff performance. There were also suitors out there for a serviceable veteran coming off a career-year. If Perron can match his production with the Knights, this is a win for St. Louis. But we’re skeptical he’ll recapture that magic — and if he does, it seems hopeful he can sustain it for the full term of his contract.