By Patrick Kelly
After almost a decade with the Blues that included bringing the first Stanley Cup to St. Louis as well as being the captain for several years, Alex Pietrangelo has signed a contract to play with the Vegas Golden Knights for the next seven years. In the deal, Pietrangelo will receive an average AAV of $8.8 million and he also gets a full no-movement-clause which is something he was reportedly after.
With the deal dropping on the Monday after free agency started, it comes as much less of a shock. The Blues tried to reach a deal with Pietrangelo all the way up to the 11 pm deadline, but they couldn’t find common ground. So the Blues went in search of greener pastures. Less than 24 hours later, the Blues dropped a bombshell on the league by announcing they were signing Torey Krug to a seven-year deal worth an average of $6.5 million. Once that deal was made, Pietrangelo’s fate seemed all but sealed. Around the same time, it was reported he was in Vegas where he looked around the area and also met with the team.
This was a tough situation for the Blues, but it is fair to say the Blues and specifically general manager Doug Armstrong handled it as best as he could. What it comes down to is this: winning the Stanley Cup is a blessing in disguise to a degree, in that for the rest of their careers any player who has a ring, whether they deserve it or not, will receive more money than they would just off their play alone. This is probably illustrated best by the Chicago Blackhawks and the position they are in now.
The Hawks tried to keep too much of their core together. They re-signed Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith to big deals not to mention the amount of money given to Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews alone. It’s not as if the Blues and Blackhawks are exactly alike, but the Blues still have a solid core, and they have a lot of young talent that still needs to be signed in the coming years. The Blackhawks didn’t have the money, so they had to let players like Artemi Panarin and Teuvo Teravinen leave.
The Blues’ window is open for years to come. If Robert Thomas, Colton Parayko and Jordan Binnington continue on their trajectories, it could be longer. By not signing Pietrangelo for over $1.5 million per year more than he was offered, the Blues would put themselves in a very tight situation, especially with the cap staying stagnant. Armstrong and the Blues have guaranteed they will not make the same mistakes teams made in the past and continue to build and be a contender every single year.