Blues Sign Oshie to 5-Year Deal
Oshie avoids arbitration, receives deal worth avg of $4.175 million / year
Thursday, 07.19.2012 / 9:15 PM CT / St Louis Blues - News
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues
|LISTEN: Doug Armstrong Conference Call | T.J. Oshie Conference Call|
ST. LOUIS - On the eve of an arbitration hearing, the Blues and T.J. Oshie agreed to terms on a new five-year contract.
The Blues announced the deal is worth an annual average of $4.175 million.
"I couldn't be any happier to re-sign with the Blues, where I've grown as a player and as a pro," Oshie said Friday. "As far as the long-term security goes, it's something I've never had in my career. It's nice to have that security, but I want to keep getting better every day and definitely better every year."
"We're obviously excited to have T.J. under contract as he enters the prime of his career," General Manager Doug Armstrong said on a media conference call Friday. "To know that we're going to have him through that portion at a minimum is very rewarding to our team.
"We think he was a big piece of our team last year and think he will be a big piece moving forward."
Oshie, a restricted free agent, had filed for arbitration several weeks ago. The hearing, which was set for Friday morning in Toronto, was avoided with the new agreement.
"Like most things in the NHL, everything works off of a deadline, whether it's a trading deadline or things of that nature," Armstrong said. "We knew that today at 9 a.m., we were going to put T.J's fate into someone else's hands, and we both decided it was best to see if we could work out something together."
Added Oshie, "I definitely wanted to get a deal done. St. Louis is where I want to be and where I want to be for a long time, so that was my No. 1 goal."
Oshie, 25, dressed in 80 games last season and finished tied for the overall team lead in points (54) with captain David Backes. He tied for third in goals (19), second in assists (35) and ranked second among Blues forwards with 19:31 of ice time per game.
The 5-foot-11, 194-pound forward has spent each of his four career National Hockey League (NHL) seasons with the Bluess, amassing 175 points (63 goals and 112 assists) to go along with 131 penalty minutes in 262 games.
"It means the world to me," Oshie said of being retained as a core member of the Blues. "I always want to be the best team guy that I can be...You look at the core guys on this team and every one of those guys is a team-first guy. To be included in that group, I can't say enough about how proud I am to be there."