Two of the St. Louis Blues' most important players, T.J. Oshie and David Perron, will become restricted free agents on July 1, but GM Doug Armstrong isn't concerned.
"I think if you look around the league, there's probably 200 guys in the same boat," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Friday. "This isn't something that is a concern to me at all."
Oshie tied David Backes for the team lead last season with 54 points, while Perron was second on the team with 21 goals. Both are young and talented, and letting them go unsigned beyond July 1 will allow them to field offer sheets from prospective teams.
"I've never been in fear of an offer sheet," Armstrong told the newspaper. "It's part of the system. You have a right to match it if you think the player's worth the offer or you take the draft picks as compensation. So I'm not concerned about an offer sheet. It's a tool in the (collective bargaining agreement) and the players have the right to see if they can find one."
Both players also are eligible for arbitration, which Armstrong said could be a consideration. The deadline for filing is July 5. It would put the salary for each player in the hands of an independent party, but it also would end the threat of an offer sheet.
"The good thing about arbitration is when you find out on July 5 if they elect arbitration, then they're off the market," Armstrong said. "So that's done and you can either negotiate a longer-term deal with them or go to the arbitration process and elect a one- or two-year deal."
Armstrong has other roster decisions to make soon. Veteran forwards Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott and defensemen Carlo Colaiacovo and Kent Huskins will be unrestricted free agents if not signed before July 1.
"We're still kicking some tires on some guys, but time is certainly starting to wind down," Armstrong said. "If they get to July 1, obviously they'll look around and we'll look around to replace them.
"It's a long time before Oct. 10 [season opener]. It's not like we're playing Sunday. So we'll have a good roster by Oct. 10 ... I'm comfortable with that."