Defender Alex Pietrangelo, seen as the first free agent award in the NHL this offseason, accepted a seven-year deal worth $ 8.8 million a year with the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday, a source confirmed to ESPN.
The deal, worth $ 61.6 million and which included a no-movement clause, was first reported by The Athletic.
Adding the best free agent available gives Vegas another great talent, but the team will have to lose the salary to fit it below the $ 81.5 million salary cap. Goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury, defenders Nate Schmidt and Alec Martinez and winger Max Pacioretty are among the candidates to clear space after Vegas has already sent center Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets.
Pietrangelo was drafted fourth overall since St. Louis Blues in 2008. They are the only NHL team he has played for, with Pietrangelo serving as captain since 201
Pietrangelo’s time with the Blues was effectively over after they signed a $ 45.5 million seven-year contract with free agent defender Torey Krug, formerly of the Boston Bruins, on Friday.
“We had some great conversations and couldn’t do anything,” said Blues general manager Doug Armstrong, who said the team offered Pietrangelo a maximum contract extension of eight years. “There’s no good or bad person in this. It’s just the business side.”
The Blues previously offered Pietrangelo an average annual salary of $ 8 million at different lengths of a deal, including an eight-year contract. But Pietrangelo would have wanted a no-movement clause and a bonus on signing in the last few years of the contract in case his deal was bought.
The 30-year-old scored 16 career-highest goals plus 36 assists in 70 games during the 2019-20 regular season and one goal and five assists in nine post-season games when the Blues were eliminated in the Western Conference quarter-finals by Vancouver. Canucks.
Pietrangelo scored 109 goals and 341 assists for 450 points in 758 regular-season NHL games.
“He’s been a loyal player for us, for this team for a number of years,” Armstrong said. “A huge part of a team of the caliber of a league. He is about to become one of the best Blues ever.”
Information from Greg Wyshynski of ESPN and the Associated Press was used in this report.