Las Vegas 'Misfits' No More, Golden Knights Now Expected To Win

Las Vegas 'Misfits' No More, Golden Knights Now Expected To Win”

Alex Pietrangelo agreed to a seven-year, $61.6-million contract with the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday, per Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

Pietrangelo will count $8.8 million against the salary cap through 2027 and the deal includes a full no-movement clause.

The 30-year-old was considered the top UFA on the open market.

Less than 18 months removed from captaining the St. Louis Blues to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, Pietrangelo might be coming off his best season as a professional with 16 goals and 36 assists in 70 games. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, defensemen Nate Schmidt and Alec Martinez and winger Max Pacioretty are among the trade candidates to clear cap space after Vegas already sent center Paul Stastny to Winnipeg. While there are many contributing factors - including the Blues signing Torey Krug to a massive deal on the first day of free agency - it still does seem odd that the relationship between the Blues and Pietrangelo soured in the manner that it did given his deep roots with the franchise and community.

Adding the top free agent available gives Vegas another big-money talent, but the team needed to make another move to shed salary just to add him. His 24:11 minutes of ice time led the Blues this season, and marked the ninth straight season Pietrangelo has averaged more than 24 minutes per night.

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The Blues drafted Pietrangelo with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2008 draft.

"We had some really good conversations and we just couldn't get anything done", said Blues general manager Doug Armstrong, who said the team offered Pietrangelo a maximum-length, eight-year contract extension.

"We couldn't find something that made everyone comfortable", Armstrong said. "A huge part of a championship-caliber team".

Pietrangelo will now form one of the NHL's very best one-two punches on the Vegas blue line alongside breakout star Shea Theodore. "It's not the first time, it won't be the last time this happens in the National Hockey League".

The 29-year-old Schmidt appeared in 59 games for Vegas in 2019-20 and recorded seven goals and 31 points. "So, it kind of changed our decision-making from there".

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