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.”