Blues forward T.J. Oshie is an interesting player to look at. On some times he'd be a second or third line energy guy, a cannonball on skates, if you will. On the Blues he's a first/second line guy due to the makeup of the team. He's a very vital presence on the ice. When he's not in games, it's noticed -- his crashing about with abandon is needed, and he's set up some very pretty goals. This one from the playoffs comes to mind:
Well, that was spiffy, no? Oshie's improved his performance from the season before last -- both on and off of the ice. No missing practice, no two game suspensions. Oshie was by all accounts punctual and professional, and he improved greatly on his 2010-2011 numbers. He wound up with seven more goals (19 to 12) and thirteen more assists (35 to 22) while playing almost thirty more games due to a lack of injury. Oshie proved himself to Doug Armstrong and the team, which is why today's announcement of his going to arbitration shocked some fans.
Arbitration doesn't necessarily mean that Oshie can't get a deal done before his date; chances are good that the negotiations were hinging on what teammate David Perron wound up with. Perron's four year, $15.25 million total contract isn't half bad and is probably something Oshie and his agent wanted to eyeball.
Oshie has an upside over Perron in that he doesn't have a concussion history. Oshie also can command a bit more leverage because he lived up to his one year "prove yourself" deal. The Blues probably want Oshie longer than a couple seasons; two more years and Oshie finishes his contract as a UFA. Oshie, in exchange for giving up some of his UFA time, probably would like to get monetary compensation in line with Perron's. Can you justify that?
When you take into consideration points per game on average (.59 for Perron, .668 for Oshie), Oshie has the slight edge. When you look at injury history, Oshie's aren't the kind where there's a level of paranoia after suffering them. Would it be appropriate to offer Oshie a deal similar to Perron's? It would not surprise me if Doug Armstrong would think so. Does Oshie accept the offer? Why not?