Vegas Lands Pietrangelo, Trades Schmidt to the Canucks

Alex Pietrangelo is leaving St. Louis after agreeing to a $61.6 million seven-year deal with Vegas. Jeff Roberson  Associated Press

Alex Pietrangelo is leaving St. Louis after agreeing to a $61.6 million seven-year deal with Vegas. Jeff Roberson Associated Press

Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, seen as the top free-agent prize in the National Hockey League this offseason, signed a seven-year deal worth $8.8 million a year with the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday.

Pietrangelo will have a full no-movement clause included in his deal.

The addition of Pietrangelo forced Vegas to make a trade to deal with their salary cap crunch. He captained the Blues to a Stanley Cup in 2019, won an Olympic gold medal with Team Canada in 2014, a World Cup title in 2016, and a world junior gold in 2009. He added one goal and five assists in nine postseason games. Pietrangelo has a lifetime plus-77 rating and averaged at least 22 minutes of ice time in each of the past 10 seasons. "A huge part of a championship-caliber team. He's going to go down so far as one of the best Blues ever".

Pietrangelo certainly upgrades the Golden Knights' blue line, though changes are coming to their roster. Before registering Pietrangelo's contract, the Golden Knights traded defenseman Nate Schmidt to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2022 third-round pick, clearing his $5.95 million cap hit off the books. The Blues' apparent refusal to include a no-trade clause reportedly led Pietrangelo to look elsewhere for his next deal.

Pietrangelo signed a $61.6 million, seven-year deal with Vegas on Monday that carries an $8.8 million annual salary cap hit through 2027.

"He's been a stalwart player for us for a number of years", he said. "You just wish it didn't happen because of the respect and the desire we had to keep Alex here". Krug was the other, and winger Mike Hoffman is the top player left on the market after a 29-goal, 59-point season with the Florida Panthers. "I think he will be a really good fit in our group".

St. Louis general manager Doug Armstrong said Pietrangelo's legacy in St. Louis would endure. The Toronto area native flew to Las Vegas on Saturday to meet with the Golden Knights, a visit that paved the way for this contract.

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