Seven players who can earn a big contract

Now properly slotted in as a top-pairing defenseman, Seth Jones has taken off in Columbus -- just in time for him to negotiate a new contract. Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong’s salary cap squeeze kept the typically active trader quiet at the trade deadline. This summer, however, will be anything but quiet for the Blues. Regardless of what happens down the stretch and in the playoffs, Armstrong has prominent unrestricted free agents in captain David Backes and Troy Brouwer to deal with. He also has a young forward in Jaden Schwartz who is a restricted free agent and ready for a raise.

If the Blues have a big spring and these players are a major part of it, as they’d have to be, there might not be enough money to go around.