Prior to the lockout, St. Louis treated Alex Pietrangelo how other NHL teams were treating their young stars — by discussing a contract extension under the old collective bargaining agreement.
The two sides didn’t pull the trigger, but that doesn’t mean the Blues or Pietrangelo regret standing pat.
“It got to a point where we thought we’d take a step back and see what the CBA brings,” Pietrangelo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about re-upping with the Blues. “It could work out in my favor, it may not, but we wanted to see some sort of clarity before we made a decision. You always want some sort of security.
“It’s definitely going to have to be the right situation for me in terms of the length of the deal and where the team is headed.”
Pietrangelo was set to become a restricted free agent at the end of 2012-13 — along with Tyler Seguin, Cam Fowler, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Jeff Skinner.
The difference, of course, is those players were signed to long-term, big-money extensions (all were at least five years in length and at least $20 million in salary) prior to the CBA expiring on Sept. 15.
Pietrangelo and the Blues, meanwhile, chose to take a wait-and-see approach, something player agent Don Meehan feels was the right move.
“There’s really no fear from Alex’s end in terms of waiting to see what the new landscape will be,” Meehan said. “We’re not representing a player that was looking for an edge or predicting the future. That’s not what he’s all about. St. Louis recognizes his value, we know what it is, too.
“To compliment Doug [Armstrong, St. Louis’ GM], he approached this in nothing but a sincere good-faith gesture and we were happy with that. Alex was happy with that.”
All that said, it is surprising St. Louis would take any sort of risk with Pietrangelo.
At just 22, he was a massive part of the Blues’ banner 2011-12 season and finished fourth in Norris Trophy voting.
Speaking of the Norris, it’s worth noting that winner, 22-year-old Erik Karlsson, got a seven-year, $45.5 million extension from the Senators this summer.
For what it’s worth, Pietrangelo says he’s committed to the Blues long-term.
“I definitely enjoy playing in St. Louis and I love the city,” he said. “There’s definitely interest on both sides to figure something out for the long term … there isn’t another team that I’d rather be a part of.”