According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, one of the things currently being discussed in St. Louis is how best to move Alex Pietrangelo. As the situation disintegrates further and further and the defenseman moves frater away from an extension to stay with the Blues, the talk of moving his rights seems to be the best option.
But, how should the Blues tackle this?
One of the ideas gaining steam is a sign-and-trade scenario where Pietrangelo would sign for eight years with the Blues under the agreement he’d be moved to the team of his choosing — the early speculation being the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Other teams (Florida, Calgary and Vegas) are apparently intrigued by the option as well but the hold up might be what the Blues are asking for in return. LeBrun writes:
I do believe St. Louis would be open to doing a sign and trade. But not for a pittance.
In other words, a third-round pick isn’t going to cut it.
If I had to guess, the Blues would ask for a first-round pick. I’m not sure there’s a team out there willing to pay that price. Would a second-round pick cut it? Or, given the salary cap constraints some clubs have, is there a roster player who could entice the Blues?
First, it’s hard to imagine a team giving up a first-round pick to land Pietrangelo in trade and then sign him to a huge deal when the team can take their chances in free agency. But, could they give up a 2nd or a 3rd plus something else? Possibly.
Why Would A Team Do This?
Part of the reason a sign-and-trade is so beneficial for everyone is in how the deal is structured and what it means in terms of a team’s cap hit. For example, if the Maple Leafs sign Pietrangelo in free agency, the best they can offer is seven years. But, if the Blues sign him before October 9th, they can tack on an eighth year with that final year being lower, thus reducing the overall AAV of Pietrangelo’s salary. And in Toronto, every penny counts.
If the Maple Leafs could save $500K-$1 million per season because of that eighth year, it has real value. At the same time, the Blues get an asset back instead of losing Pietrangelo for nothing and Pietrangelo gets paid an additional year.
This entire situation has gotten very interesting and seemingly more complicated. But, if all parties are willing to work out a deal of this type, it could be a win for everyone.
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