One of the young cornerstones of the St. Louis Blues’ franchise, 23-year-old defenseman Alex Pietrangelo will not be reporting to training camp today.
“Talks between the Blues and Alex’s camp have broken off for now,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong said via the team’s website.
Pietrangelo has 29 goals and 121 points in 224 NHL games after completing his entry-level contract. The Blues have been leaning heavily on him for years, with Pietrangelo averaging 25:07 minutes per contest in 2013. Even with St. Louis’ stacked defense, they would have a sizable void to fill without Pietrangelo.
That being said, the Blues have been making preparations in case they ended up in this very situation. For example, blueliner Ryan Whitney has already agreed to attend the Blues’ training camp on a tryout basis.
Meanwhile, Armstrong has publicly reinforced his commitment to keeping Pietrangelo, even if the two sides haven’t been able to agree to terms yet.
“We’ve made it very clear since the summer,” Armstrong said last week. “Alex will be a St. Louis Blue when he plays hockey again.”
In other words, they probably won’t trade Pietrangelo’s rights and they are likely to match any offer sheet the all-star defenseman signs.
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.