Joel Dorcas | March 22nd, 2020
With the NHL being on hiatus right now why don’t we take a look at the upcoming 2020 Free Agency class. On the list are some pretty notable names, especially at defense. The crown jewel is St.Louis Blues defenseman, Alex Pietrangelo. With all due respect to winger Taylor Hall, elite defensemen are way harder to come by when General Managers are constructing their teams. Pietrangelo is an established all-around great player that teams will no doubt covet this offseason, let’s take a closer look at All-Star and Stanley Cup Champion Alex Pietrangelo.
Pietrangelo has been a member of the St.Louis Blues his entire career dating all the way back to the 2008-2009 season. His first two, he only played eight and nine games respectively. So that’s 10 seasons as a full-time member in the Blues organization. He was a first-round draft pick, taken fourth overall in 2008.
Pietrangelo is currently 30 years of age and is playing the last season of his seven-year contract of $45,500,000 which carries an annual average cap hit of $6.5 million. Currently, Pietrangelo has suited up in 70 games, he has scored a career-high 16 goals, 36 assists, and 52 points. He has also fired a career-high in shots on goal with 225. Pietrangelo’s previous high for points in a season was 2017-2018 when he registered 54 in 78 games played. In 758 career NHL games, Pietrangelo has 450 points with a plus/minus of +77. Pietrangelo is a two-time All-Star(2018, 2020) and a Stanley Cup Champion(2019-2020). During last year’s championship run he put up three goals and 16 assists(19 pts) in 26 games.
So what will it take to keep their Captain in St.Louis? If we look at the current market for elite defensemen, Pietrangelo should fetch around $9 million per season. Roman Josi just signed a $9.059 million per season contract. Other notables are P.K. Subban($9 M), Oliver Ekman-Larsson($8.25 M), Jacob Trouba($8 M), Drew Doughty($11 M), Erik Karlsson($11.5 M). Pietrangelo and Josi around $9M look really good if you compare them to Karlsson and Doughty at $11 M.
The Blues will be right up agaisnt the salary cap even if it rises for the 2020-2021 season. They will have approximately between $8.6 and $10.2 million in cap space to sign Vince Dunn, Sammy Blais, Marco Scandella and number 27. This could make it challenging to securing all their impending free agents. General Manager Doug Armstrong’s team philosophy of having a deep roster with well-paid players throughout the lineup as opposed to having a few players with big contracts will be put to test.
Many thought that a deal would have been reached by now which makes you think that perhaps Pietrangelo wants closer to $10 million per season than $9 M. Players like Pietrangelo are in high demand because they are rare. The Blues should do whatever it takes to keep him in the organization even if it means they have to use valuable cap space in the later years of a long-term contract.
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