After signing his new long-term deal with the Vegas Golden Knights, the messaging coming from defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is intriguing. According to many sources, including Elliotte Friedman in his latest 31 Thoughts article, Pietrnagelo has said the negotiations with the St. Louis Blues were never really all that close. That he knew he wanted to go to Vegas. Considering reports of him being stunned when the Blues signed Torey Krug and speculation the Blues and the defenseman talked all the way up until free agency opened, the two stories don’t seem to mesh.
According to Friedman, “I don’t think he believed hope was gone until the Blues signed Krug.” He then notes Pietrangelo hit the market and the talk was seven years at $8.5 million per season. Friedman says the deal got done just north of that but there was definitely some grinding and, “Everyone was exhausted.”
Then he adds, “The only remaining question is if the Blues will ask the NHL to investigate for tampering.”
The last time a team filed tampering charges was when the New York Islanders tried to nail the Toronto Maple Leafs for signing John Tavares. Nothing came of it but there was a sense by the Islanders something wasn’t on the up and up. St. Louis is now wondering how things fell apart.
The Blues have said they believed they had a real shot to re-sign their captain. Blues GM Doug Armstrong noted, “We tried to sign (Alex). I want to give our ownership a ton of credit, going to the maximum number of years available… We used every tool under the CBA to ensure we could get something done. It just didn’t work out.”
Why Didn’t the Deal Get Worked Out?
Some have said it was the Krug deal that sent Pietrangelo running to Vegas. It certainly made it so the Blues couldn’t sign him. But, why did the Krug deal get done so quickly? Reports are the Blues felt something was up and instead of missing completely on any defenseman, they needed to reach out to Krug’s camp right away.
Armstrong then added:
“I look back on (talks). I’m not really sure why. I was hoping to get something done. We talked a lot. We exchanged offers during the season, during the pandemic. Multiple offers post-pandemic.”
Pietrangelo said Tuesday that he’d really liked the idea of Vegas and that they were a destination everyone in the NHL was looking to. He noted he ‘was impressed with what the organization could offer.’ The question St. Louis might be asking is how soon did the Golden Knights make that “offer” known?
Perhaps nothing comes of this one either, but the fact Friedman said he’s heard the Blues are considering pushing forward with this notes that they feel they got blindsided during their negotiations.
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