One contract that many hockey fans were curious about was finalized on Saturday, as the St. Louis Blues signed Jordan Binnington to a two-year contract with an average annual value of $4.4 million.
Since the 26-year-old Binnington went from fourth-string goalie and midseason callup to Calder Trophy finalist and Stanley Cup champion, there wasn’t much of a template for what this contract should look like. Matt Murray’s three-year contract with an AAV of $3.75 million following his first Stanley Cup win (2016) was considered a possible example. Comparing the two, Binnington received a larger AAV while receiving a shorter term, perhaps because he is older than Murray was and didn’t enter the league with the pedigree that Murray did. If Binnington’s play falls off, the Blues are only locked in for two seasons.
As it turns out, according to Cap Friendly, Petr Mrazek’s 2016 contract and Jonathan Bernier’s 2015 contract were closer examples to Binnington’s contract than Murray’s was.
There’s certainly lots of debate as to whether Binnington is the real thing or simply a flash-in-the-pan that went on a hot streak for half a season. There’s no guarantee that Binnington will continue this run, and in all likelihood he will cool off to some degree. However, it would be hasty to assume that he will be another Andrew Hammond, as he had posted an impressive 2.06 GAA and .926 SV% over his past two AHL seasons (44 GP) leading up to his recent NHL success. I’m not ranking him as a top-tier goalie in drafts this fall (although I’m sure someone might), although I would consider him as a low G1/high G2 in 12-team standard-size roto leagues.
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