Alex Pietrangelo

It’s ‘back to the drawing board’ for Blues and Pietrangelo

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The St. Louis Blues announced this morning that defenseman Alex Pietrangelo would not be reporting to training camp after contract talks between club and player broke off.

Shortly after that announcement, Blues general manager Doug Armstrong met with reporters to explain the situation further.

“We’ve worked in earnest with his representative trying to get him into training camp,” Armstrong said, per the Post-Dispatch. “Last night, we gave it a last-ditch kick at the can around 8 or 9 o’clock at night. It didn’t hold. So from this point forward, he’s not in camp and we treat him like an injured player.

“Sidney Crosby missed a lot of time with concussions (and) the Penguins went on. That’s our job responsibility. If he misses a week, a month, a year, we’re not really sure … but he’s not here now and we have to move forward.”

Writes the Post-Dispatch:

Pietrangelo, 23, is believed to be seeking an extension that would pay him $7 million per season on a long-term deal. The Blues, who have a shade over $7 million in salary-cap space for the 2013-14 season, aren’t willing to pay more than $6 million annually.

Would Pietrangelo consider a bridge deal, like the one Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban signed last summer before going on to win the Norris Trophy?

“We were more focused on a lengthier term recently,” Armstrong said. “But now both sides need to go back to drawing board and find out how do we get him in here.”

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)