So much for the dog days of summer.
The St.Louis Blues locked up a pillar of their blueline on Wednesday evening, agreeing to terms with Colton Parayko on an eight-year extension worth an average annual value of $6.5 million.
Parayko, who was selected in the third round by the Blues in 2012, is now set to remain under contract with the only franchise he's ever known through the 2029-30 season.
After a brilliant first few seasons in the NHL that painted him as a future top-pairing option, Parayko has seemingly plateaued over the past two years to that of a second-pairing defender. The 28-year-old is still one of the best defensive-minded blueliners in the league, logging nearly 23 minutes per game against primarily top opposing competition, but his offensive impact has taken a noted dip to the point that he struggles mightily to drive play at 5v5. While Parayko was never a dynamic producer by any means, his career-high is 35 points, the Alberta-native still put up disappointing numbers last season with just 12 points in 32 games.
Still, Parayko has shown enough in years past to earn the benefit of the doubt as a top-tier defenceman in this league. And if he can regain his prior form, the Blues will have a shutdown, right-shot, penalty-killing top-four defender under contract for roughly the next decade at $6.5 million per season.
That, at least in the immediate future, looks like a bargain.
And while Parayko may no longer be a defender worth that kind of money as a 34-year-old near the end of his contract, that will almost certainly be a problem for general manager Doug Armstrong's successor to solve.
For now, Blues fans, rejoice.