Blues GM aims to sign Pietrangelo by training camp


St. Louis Blues fans might be feeling a little anxious about the team’s contract negotiations with star defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, especially after Sunday’s non-update. GM Doug Armstrong understands the restlessness, but he explained why the team isn’t rolling out a specific deadline to the Bellevue News-Democrat on Tuesday.

“I don’t make any deadlines because once you pass the deadline you’re going to go back on your word or you’ve painted yourself in a corner,” Armstrong said. “Our goal is to get Alex signed prior to training camp –and I hope that’s his goal, too.”

Pietrangelo draws comparisons to Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, whose negotiations went so long that he seemed a bit unprepared for the 2011-12 season. If that parallel holds, he’ll be a big part of the team’s future once this washes over. (The Blues likely hope to avoid Doughty’s $7 million cap hit, however.)

While fans might be getting impatient, Armstrong notes how significant this contract could be and prefers the steady approach.

“It’s an important contract for the organization, but it’s nothing out of the norm of what I’ve done n the past,” Armstrong said. “There’s a lot under the surface on these negotiations and it’s probably better to stay under the surface. I don’t think the fans really want to hear any more whining about economics, they want to see hockey.”

“He’ll get done when he gets done and that’s all I can say about it.”

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.