Vegas 'misfits' no more, Golden Knights now expected to win

  • Vegas 'misfits' no more, Golden Knights now expected to win

Vegas 'misfits' no more, Golden Knights now expected to win

The Vegas Golden Knights have signed former St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, one of the top players available in free agency this off-season, to a seven-year contract, the team announced Monday.

The Blues previously offered Pietrangelo an average annual salary of $8 million at varying lengths of a deal, including an eight-year contract.

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

Pietrangelo scored a career-high 16 goals last season despite a pandemic that cut the Blues' schedule by 10 games.

The 6-foot-3 rearguard is also a proven victor.

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.

The Blues anticipated Pietrangelo's exit when they signed ex-Boston Bruins defenceman Torey Krug to a seven-year deal worth $6.5 million a year on Friday. 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. He had a postseason-best 16 assists and averaged nearly 26 minutes of ice time during the Blues' Cup run. He added a goal and five assists in nine playoff games this year.

Pietrangelo was drafted fourth overall by the St. Louis Blues in 2008.

"He has been a stalwart player for us, for this team for a number of years", Armstrong said.

Keep track of all the trades, rumors and signings during the busiest time in the National Hockey League calendar. But Pietrangelo reportedly wanted a no-movement clause and signing bonus built into the latter years of the contract in case his deal was bought out. "So, it kind of changed our decision-making from there". The Toronto area native flew to Las Vegas on Saturday to meet with the Golden Knights, a visit that paved the way for this contract.