Jordan Binnington is expected to receive a lucrative contract after the goalie helped the St. Louis Blues win the Stanley Cup for the first time, general manager Doug Armstrong said Friday.
"He's going to earn a big pay raise this summer and we're looking forward to paying him," Armstrong told Sportsnet 590 The Fan on Thursday, one day after the Blues defeated the Boston Bruins 4-1 in Game 7 to win the NHL championship.
The 25-year-old, who can become a restricted free agent July 1, set the rookie record for Stanley Cup Playoff wins, going 16-10 with a 2.46 GAA, .914 save percentage and one shutout in 26 games.
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He signed a one-year, two-way contract with St. Louis on July 6, 2018, his third consecutive one-year contract, and during the season moved up from fourth on the Blues depth chart.
"It wasn't always easy. There were down times. I put myself in tough spots," Binnington said following Game 7. "The bigger the challenge, the greater the response. I just tried to adjust to the challenge every day and be the goalie I thought I could be and take advantage of my talent."
Binnington, who is a finalist for the Calder Trophy given to the NHL rookie of the year, was 24-5-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average, .927 save percentage and five shutouts in 32 regular-season games (30 starts) after making his first NHL start Jan. 7. St. Louis went 29-9-5 after that date, climbing from last in the NHL standings.
"We weren't playing well and you know we made a goalie change," Armstrong said. "Binnington was our best American (Hockey) League goalie at the time he came up. (Coach) Craig [Berube] to his credit instead of throwing him right in there, gave him a couple of weeks to practice and learn the League. ... I'd be lying if I said I expected this."
Video: STL@BOS, Gm7: Binnington dazzles in Game 7 victory
Binnington, who was selected by St. Louis in the third round (No. 87) of the 2011 NHL Draft, took over for Jake Allen, who made one relief appearance in the playoffs. Allen, who was 19-17-8 with a 2.83 GAA, .905 save percentage and three shutouts in 46 games (45 starts) in the regular season, has two years remaining on a four-year contract worth $4.35 million per season he signed July 1, 2016.
Goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who is two months older than Binnington and has played 212 NHL regular-season games, signed a six-year contract worth $6.1 million per season with the Winnipeg Jets as a restricted free agent last July 12.
Goalie John Gibson, who is three days younger than Binnington but has played 236 NHL games, signed an eight-year contract extension for an undisclosed amount with the Anaheim Ducks last Aug. 4.
Binnington finished the playoffs 8-2 with a 1.78 GAA and .937 save percentage following a loss.
"The way he responded in the regular season and in the playoffs after a loss shows a lot about his mental toughness," Armstrong said. "He's earned everything all the credit he's getting."