BUFFALO -- By trading Brian Elliott to the Calgary Flames on Friday, the St. Louis Blues made a statement that Jake Allen is their No. 1 goalie. Blues general manager Doug Armstrong plans to keep it that way for a long time by signing Allen to a contract extension.
Armstrong said he has been in contact with Allen's representatives about an extension. Allen is signed for one more season with an NHL salary-cap charge of $2.35 million.
"He wants to be here," Armstrong said of Allen. "He wants to be the guy. I believe that before the start of next season we'll have something done with him."
Allen mostly split time with Elliott this season and was 26-15-3 with a 2.35 goals-against average and .920 save percentage. With Elliott, he helped the Blues finish with a League-high .924 save percentage.
Allen hasn't fared that well in the Stanley Cup Playoffs; he has three wins, a 2.29 GAA and .902 save percentage in 12 games, including eight starts.
Armstrong is not deterred by Allen's playoff numbers; he believes he is the best goalie for the Blues going forward and doesn't want to risk the potential of losing him next season, which was the reason he traded Elliott on Friday. He said he would look in the unrestricted free agent market for a backup goalie.
"I knew with 100 percent certainty that those two guys [Elliott and Allen] would not both sign here a year from now," Armstrong said. "Both want the net more than they got it. Both want it on a regular basis. It just seemed like the proper time."
Armstrong did not trade defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk on Friday. Shattenkirk has been rumored to be on the market since the end of the season.
Shattenkirk's situation is similar to Elliott's in that he has one year left on his contract ($4.25 million) and the Blues aren't sure if they want to or will be able to re-sign him before the end of the 2016-17 season, so if possible they will try to get a valuable return for him now.
Armstrong said he doesn't feel any pressure to trade Shattenkirk for lower than what he believes his market value should be as a right-handed defenseman who can skate, move the puck and create offense.
Shattenkirk had 44 points in 72 games this season. He had 44 points in 56 games in 2014-15.
"I had a chat with Kevin's representative; I feel it's easier just to be up front with everybody on the situation and they understand it," Armstrong said. "There has been no trades here today of that type of player. Maybe my asking price is too high or maybe I value him higher than other people, but I haven't been anywhere close to what I think is representative of the value of Kevin Shattenkirk."
Armstrong said he is keeping the lines of communication open with potential unrestricted free agent forwards David Backes and Troy Brouwer. But he knows each will be talking with other teams starting Saturday, when the NHL's interview period opens in advance of noon ET on July 1, when the free agent market officially opens and players can sign with another team.