According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman, the Vegas Golden Knights have signed UFA defenseman Alex Pietrangelo to a seven-year contract that will carry a cap hit of $8.8 million. Rumors have swirled the past few days that if Pietrangelo were to sign with the Golden Knights, they would trade defenseman Nate Schmidt to clear cap space. The contract contains a no-movement clause.
Pietrangelo 7x$8.8M in LV
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 12, 2020
It was reported on Sunday night that the Golden Knights have a deal in place to move Schmidt, who has five seasons remaining on a six-year contract that carries a cap hit of $5.95 million, if they were to sign Pietrangelo.
The former St. Louis Blues captain posted a career-high 16 goals, 52 points, and a +11 rating in 70 games during the 2019-20 regular season before recording one goal, six points, and an even rating in nine Stanley Cup Playoff games. The Blues fell to the Vancouver Canucks in six games in the first round.
In 758 career regular-season games, all with the Blues, the 30-year-old has posted 109 goals, 450 points, and a +77 rating. In 92 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Pietrangelo has recorded eight goals, 51 points, and a +8 rating, including three goals, 19 points, and a +5 rating in 26 games during the Blues’ run to the Stanley Cup in 2019. The Blues drafted him fourth overall in the 2008 NHL Draft.
Pietrangelo scored the game-winning goal in Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.
He recorded 47 hits, 89 blocked shots (second 0n the Blues), 43 takeaways, 45 giveaways, a 53.13% Corsi-for percentage, and a 52.42% expected goals-for percentage last season, when he finished fourth in Norris Trophy voting as the NHL’s top defenseman.
With the addition of Pietrangelo, the Golden Knights upgrade their defense after advancing to the Western Conference Final, where they lost to the Dallas Stars in five games. They finished the regular season with an average of 2.94 goals-against per game, 13th in the NHL.
Pietrangelo averaged 24:11 worth of ice-time per game (most on the Blues) last season, including 3:06 on the power-play (most) and 1:50 while shorthanded (sixth).
Along with Schmidt, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and defenseman Alec Martinez’s names have floated around in trade rumors. The Golden Knights traded center Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets last week in exchange for forward Carl Dahlstrom and a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft to make room for Pietrangelo.
For the first time in franchise history, the Golden Knights could have a captain next season and Pietrangelo just adds to the list of candidates.
Supposing the Golden Knights move Schmidt for draft picks, they will have $975,896 remaining in cap space.
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) October 12, 2020
By Harrison Brown