On Friday the team announced that the defenseman who has been missing from camp as a restricted free agent, has signed a new seven-year contract. Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports it comes with an annual value of $6.5 million per season. That's $45.5 million total. Indeed, Pietrangelo just got paid.
"We're excited to have Alex in the fold for the next seven years as he will continue be a key component of our franchise," GM Doug Armstrong said. "He is an elite defenseman in this league and will be for years to come."
They should be excited. On the surface it sounds like a big deal (which is most certainly is, don't get me wrong) but this doesn't look like an overpay. This contract comes with the same price tag as Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson and truth be told, Pietrangelo isn't far behind the Norris Trophy winner of two seasons ago. He's a better all-around defenseman who does have an offensive game too.
Don't forget, with the length of this contract it also eats up three unrestricted free agency years, which are always more expensive. That's a good deal all around, especially for the Blues.
All along it seemed that this is where negotiations were headed. They were never discussing a bridge deal for the RFA but long-term. The Blues were said to be looking for a $6 million price tag, Pietrnagelo for $7 million. For a short while the talks split as Armstrong announced that Pietrangelo wouldn't be there when the Blues opened camped. Two days later they met in the middle of the reported demands and struck a deal.
Ideally it would have been nice to get the deal signed a little sooner but as it is Pietrangelo only missed two days of camp and shouldn't be any worse for the wear. Now the Blues have their best defenseman back under contract for a long time and will be ready to go.
Pietrangelo, 23, played in 47 of 48 games last season for the Blues, posting five goals and 19 assists while averaging more than 25 minutes per night of ice time. Getting him re-signed was kind of a big deal.