Defender Alex Pietrangello, considered the biggest free agent award in the NHL this season, agreed on Monday to a seven-year deal worth $ 8.8 million a year with the Golden Knights of Vegas, a source confirmed to ESPN.
The deal, worth a total of $ 61.6 million and includes a travel ban clause, was first announced by The Athletic.
Adding the best free agent gives Vegas another big-money talent, but the team will have to throw a salary to fit it below the $ 81.5 million limit. Goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury, defenders Nate Schmidt and Alec Martinez and winger Max Pacioretti are among the commercial candidates to release the hat after Vegas has already sent center Paul Stastney to the Winnipeg Jets.
Pietrangello was ranked fourth overall by the St. Louis Blues in 2008. They are the only NHL team he has played for, with Pietrangello serving as their captain since 201
Pietrangello’s time with the Blues is virtually over after they signed a contract on Friday for free agent defender Torey Krug, a former Boston Bruins, for a seven-year contract worth $ 45.5 million.
“We had really good talks and we just couldn’t do anything,” said Blues general manager Doug Armstrong, who said the team was offering Pietrangello an eight-year contract extension. “There’s no good or bad person in this. It’s just a business country.”
Previously, the Blues offered Pietrangelo an average annual salary of $ 8 million for various durations, including an eight-year contract. But Pietrangelo reportedly wants a no-go clause and a bonus signing in the last years of the contract in case his deal is redeemed.
The 30-year-old had 16 career goals plus 36 assists in 70 games in the 2019-20 regular season and one goal and five assists in nine games after the season as the Blues were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Western Conference by Vancouver Canucks.
Pietrangello has 109 goals and 341 assists for 450 points in 758 games of the regular season in the NHL.
“He’s been a tough player for us, for this team for a few years,” Armstrong said. “A huge part of a team of champion caliber. It will go as far as one of the best blues so far.”
This report uses information from Greg Wiszynski and the Associated Press from ESPN.