It’s officially 2018 and a new section makes its debut on The Note Lives On. Welcome to Cap Mania, your monthly talk on player contracts and salary cap updates.
Sometimes during contract season or trade deadline the movement at the minor league level goes completely unnoticed. But those exact veteran players who fill out the holes on your AHL rosters play an incredibly important role. Doesn’t matter if you often times don’t recognize their names, the younger kids in the locker room benefit from their experiences countless times over the course of a season.
The Blues don’t exactly need Wade Megan in their day to day plans, though what he can provide in the American League is worth gold.
To understand why an AHL contract is important you have to put in perspective that any team, the Blues included, want their younger talent to see what it takes to win as a professional. Not every player that dresses for the San Antonio Rampage or Chicago Wolves can be 20 years old fresh from junior/college. Every team has to rely on the vets to move things along, to get the results. You can learn from a loss but losing every game doesn’t help anyone.
There was a point in time when Megan had a stronger chance to crack and NHL squad but now those opportunities are now few and far between. The 2009 fifth round pick(by the Florida Panthers), racked up 66 points in 73 regular season games last year, 33 coming by the way of goal. This season he has just seven goals so far but does have 20 points on the year in 38 games played. The Chicago Wolves have had a very up n’ down season and its slowed down Megan’s overall performance.
So why should the Blues re-sign the 27 year old center? Because if you’re going to have a veteran player in the lineup with “the kids” it needs to be someone who can skate and play at their level. Megan has proven that he can produce in the AHL. Even in the games he doesn’t get a point, he’s a force on the ice throwing the puck on net the entire game. Currently credited with 116 shots, Megan has had goals in his last two games played with nine shots to boot. He’s only finished one season with under 100 shots(95) and that was three seasons ago.
Currently Megan makes 650,000 at the NHL level though with him currently playing with the Wolves, that deal is a hit of 300,000. The deal may sound low but it’s actually on the higher side of things in the league. There are players making under 100,000 in the AHL.
Coming into next season Megan is the lone player at the minor pro level who is an UFA in a sea of restricted free agents. Other notable deals that need to be done in the “A” include: Jordan Binnington, Jordan Schmaltz, Petteri Lindbohm, and Beau Bennett.
Time will tell if the Blues will make a play and keep Megan, but when you look at all the young talent coming up within the next year or two, why not sign him to another short term two-way deal? There is more then just a Stanley Cup to battle for and aspire to raise, a Calder Cup win can be just as rewarding to prospects.