The St. Louis Blues have encouraged captain Alex Pietrangelo to pursue unrestricted free agency next month after contract talks have broken off between both sides. TSN insider Darren Dreger reported the news on Friday.
Pietrangelo, who turned 30 in January, just wrapped up the final year of a seven-year, $45.5 million contract that he signed with St. Louis back in 2013. Dreger added that, when speaking to Pietrangelo on Friday, the soon-to-be former Blues captain revealed that talks hadn't gone well for either side of the negotiating table. Barring a major change, the Pietrangelo will be testing what the market looks like on Oct. 9, the first day of NHL free agency.
The defenseman scored a career-high 16 goals and racked up 36 assists over the course of 70 games with St. Louis this past season, his 12th with the franchise. During the postseason, he scored once and got five assists over nine games.
Pietrangelo was selected fourth overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and made his debut Oct. 10 of that year. Since then, he has played 758 games, scored 109 goals and earned 341 assists for 450 points during his career with the Blues. In the 92 playoff games he's played, he's tallied 51 points (eight goals, 43 assists) and helped lead St. Louis to a dramatic regular season turnaround and a Stanley Cup victory over the Boston Bruins last season.