St. Louis Blues center Ivan Barbashev (49) tries to control the puck as Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard (49) pursues in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Denver, Friday, April 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)
Post-Dispatch Blues beat reporters Jim Thomas and Tom Timmermann joined columnist Jeff Gordon to discuss the Blues’ signing of winger Brandon …
One down, four to go.
Forward Ivan Barbashev, one of five restricted free agents the Blues want to re-sign, has agreed to a two-year, $4.5 million contract. The average annual value of $2.25 million is a nice pay raise from the $1.475 million a year he made on his previous contract.
The deal leaves the Blues with $6.3 million in salary cap space and four restricted free agents left to sign: Dakota Joshua, Jordan Kyrou, Zach Sanford and Robert Thomas.
Barbashev had been eligible for arbitration, but that won’t be necessary as of Friday.
A young veteran at age 25, Barbashev has played 270 games over five seasons with the Blues and carved out a niche with the team as a steady, dependable performer.
Although usually playing on the fourth line, Barbashev has the versatility to move up and down the lineup when warranted. He did some good work last season when injuries elsewhere moved him up temporarily to the Ryan O’Reilly-David Perron line.
Barbashev played only 38 games last season, missing 18 contests after…