Capped: Binnington’s new deal and Karlsson’s albatross

Logan Doyle

2021-03-18

Jordan Binnington is sticking around St. Louis for a while after signing a six-year, six-million-dollar contract. It carries a full no movement clause during the first three years of the deal and a modified no trade clause in the last three. For those salary cap leagues that use real salary versus average the deal pyramids from four million in years one and six to 7.5 million in years three and four. With the structure of the contract being a rare all salary contract – zero bonuses – it does give St. Louis a favourable buy-out option even after two years.

Coming off a two-year 4.4-million-dollar contract the increase in salary is not a massive one. Most owners can adjust to 1.6 million without too much difficulty.

One thing that has become apparent over recent years with the Blues: they have an internal cap model they will not detour from for anyone. We saw this with Alex Pietrangelo last year. The numbers did not work so they moved on.

As we saw a couple weeks ago when Alex MacLean rolled out his salary projection list for this year's crop of unrestricted free agents, Binnington signed for less than expected. He projected Binnington at $8.243 million. Personally, I didn't see St. Louis signing him for that much. Had he gone to free agency I think we would have seen his salary come in around $7.5 million to $7.9 million.  At six million, St. Louis has done well.

Binnington now carries the eighth largest cap hit amongst goalies in the NHL. Connor Hellebyuck sits at seventh with a hit of $6.167 million. Arguably the closest comparable on the current salary list for goalies is Matt Murray in Ottawa at $6.25 million for four years. Outside of his magical rookie run to the Stanley Cup championship Binnington has been an average goalie. Over the past two seasons he has had a goals against average of 2.81 and a save percentage of.906 this year and 2.56, .912 in 2019-20.

In other words, this isn't a contract to get excited about. In the same breath it's not a contract to get choked up about either. Recent contracts of Lehner, Murray and even Jacob Markstrom put this one in the ballpark of average. In large part, more teams are shifting to a tandem approach and running two goalies at lower cap hits, which makes this cap hit stand out a bit more than years past. It does tell us St. Louis believes Binnington is their number one goalie for the foreseeable future. Overall, it is a decent deal for everyone  – Binnington, Blues a