Alex Pietrangelo accepts 7-year contract with Vegas Golden Knights

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Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, considered the NHL’s best free agent award this offseason, agreed to a seven-year, $ 8.8 million-a-year contract with the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday, confirmed a source at ESPN.The deal, worth a total of $ 61.6 million and including a no-move clause, was first reported by The Athletic.

The addition of the best available free agent gives Vegas another high-net-worth talent, but the team will need to pay a salary to push it through the $ 81.5 million salary cap. Goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury, defensemen Nate Schmidt and Alec Martinez and winger Max Pacioretty are among the trade candidates to clear the space after Vegas already sent center Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets.

Pietrangelo was drafted fourth overall by the St. Louis Blues in 2008. They are the only NHL team he’s played for, Pietrangelo being their captain since 2016 and helping the team to its first Stanley Cup in 2019.

Pietrangelo’s time with the Blues was effectively over after they signed free agent defenseman Torey Krug, formerly of the Boston Bruins, to a seven-year, $ 45.5 million contract on Friday.

“We had some really good conversations and we couldn’t do anything,” said Blues general manager Doug Armstrong, who said the team had offered Pietrangelo a contract extension for up to eight hours. years. “There is no right or wrong person in this. It’s just the business side. ”

The Blues previously offered Pietrangelo an average annual salary of $ 8 million on varying terms of a deal, including an eight-year contract. But Pietrangelo reportedly wanted a no-go clause and signing bonus built into the final years of the contract in case his deal was bought out.

The 30-year-old posted a career-high 16 goals plus 36 assists in 70 games during the 2019-20 regular season and one goal and five assists in nine playoff games as the Blues were eliminated in the quarterfinals. of the Western Conference by the Vancouver Canucks.

Pietrangelo has 109 goals and 341 assists for 450 points in 758 regular season games in the NHL.

“He’s been a loyal player for us, for this team for a number of years,” Armstrong said. “A big part of a championship caliber team. He is going to become one of the best Blues of all time. ”

Information from Greg Wyshynski of ESPN and the Associated Press has been used in this report.

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