In a surprising turn of events, the Blues did not tender a qualifying offer to one of their most appealing RFAs, Matt D'Agostini. D'Agostini turned himself from a healthy scratch in 2009-2010 to a player who netted 21 goals and 25 assists last season playing top six minutes. Last season being a "breakout year" for the young forward is an understatement.
Breakout seasons, though often mean inflated contracts should a deal go to arbitration. If the Blues gave D'Agostini a QO and he chose to go to arbitration, the amount the Blues might've had to pay him would be significantly higher than the $550,000 he made last season. Sure, the Blues can afford it, but that's not the point - no one wants to pay more for something than they have to, regardless of the product.
D'Agostini, if unsigned by July 1st, becomes an unrestricted free agent. It seems like the Blues are still working on a deal, which can be struck before Friday. Says Steve Bartlett, D'Agostini's agent:
"I think we're still working on it in good faith," Bartlett said. "Our first hope is to get something done (in St. Louis). We had several good conversations, and we'll continue to have good conversations."
However, there are UFAs a-plenty and RFAs who have not been given qualifying offers by their clubs yet. Tyler Kennedy, Anthony Stewart, and Niclas Bergfors are all capable of playing top six/top nine minutes, and Bergfors especially is capable - when he tries - of scoring those kind of numbers easily.