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Petro says Blues will be fine without him

Petro says Blues will be fine without him


After a decade on the St. Louis blueline, what will life be like without Alex Pietrangelo?

Just fine, says the captain himself — or make that former captain.

“They’ll be fine,” said Pietrangelo, who signed a seven-year, $61.6 million free-agent contract Monday with Vegas. “The Blues are a team built like a team. I was just there to do my job to the best of my ability.

“With Colton (Parayko) there, ‘Dunner’ (Vince Dunn) — those guys have been around. They’re growing into pretty special players. So I think they’ll be able to take things to the next level. Obviously well-coached. ‘Army’ (Doug Armstrong) knows what he’s doing. He’s won a championship, so he’s found a way to build a winner.”

And as he heads off to greener pastures in Las Vegas, Pietrangelo told the Post-Dispatch on Tuesday he wishes his now-former team nothing but the best.

“I hope they have success,” he said. “I think people sometimes think there’s like resentment from a (departing) player. But these guys are my friends. I want them to succeed. I want them to be good. That’s what I want for these guys.

“I don’t have any worries about it. They’re gonna be a good team from top to bottom, management all the way down to the coaches.”

Make no mistake, Pietrangelo is excited about his new challenge with the Golden Knights. But leaving St. Louis, the only “hometown” he’s known as an adult, won’t be easy.

“It’s tough on us,” Pietrangelo said. “It’s an amazing city. The people here are amazing. There’s a reason why up until this point we’ve lived here all year-round because the people here are amazing.

“The fans, they’ve been amazing. Look at the (Stanley Cup vicotry) parade, and everything that we did. It’s a special place to play. And for us, more importantly it’s a special place to live. Raise our kids here. They go to school here right now. These are the things that are important to us.

“So it was a difficult decision for us, one that we certainly didn’t take lightly. Which is why there was no decision made on Friday or Saturday or Sunday. We had to give this a lot of thought. And that’s a credit to the city and a credit to the people.”

Who knows what happens down the line, but for now Pietrangelo, wife Jayne, and their four children plan to keep their house here and plan to live here in the offseason.

“I’m gonna be here, probably come back in the summers and skate with these guys (his now former Blues teammates),” Pietrangelo said. “And I’ll be around the city. I’m friends with them. They understand.”

Earlier, on a Zoom call arranged by the Golden Knights, Pietrangelo said he has talked to many Blues players since his decision to sign with Vegas. He called them friends for life, and plans to play some golf with them this fall before the weather turns in St. Louis.

But looking ahead, Pietrangelo said: “We’re going somewhere new and welcoming a new challenge.”

Besides the $8.8 million a year he’ll get from Vegas, Pietrangelo got a couple of other things that were sticking points in his negotiations with the Blues:

• No. 1: A full “no-movement” clause with Vegas, which gives Pietrangelo and his family the security of knowing he won’t be traded or placed on waivers.

“I think for me with my family situation, having four kids under the age of 2, if I’m going to pick them up and move them away from somewhere that is the only thing they know, I wanted to make sure I was going to be comfortable there for a period of time,” he said.

• No. 2: Signing bonus money. As reported by TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, Pietrangelo gets $35 million in signing bonus, or roughly 57% of the overall contract.

In the NHL, signing bonus money can be paid out in a lump sum or in installments. More importantly, signing bonus money cannot be bought out, an important consideration as a veteran player gets to the end of a long contract.

Before making his decision, Pietrangelo said he got a scouting report on Vegas from former Blues teammate, and now former Golden Knight, Paul Stastny.

“We felt like he said all the right things,” Pietrangelo said. “He spoke extremely highly of the organization and the way the players are treated, the way the families are treated, and more importantly the way the wives are treated. It certainly helped us make a decision knowing that everyone’s taken care of.”

A report Tuesday morning out of St. Louis said Pietrangelo wanted a new challenge, and that the idea of playing and living somewhere else was intriguing to him. Later, on the Zoom call, Pietrangelo indicated that the report was an exaggeration, at least to a degree.

“That was taken out of context to be honest with you,” Pietrangelo said. “The goal was always to get something done with St. Louis. I don’t think my mind actually flipped to that point (of leaving) until we tried and tried and tried with St. Louis and it didn’t look like something was gonna get done.”

When asked about the frustration of not being able to get a deal done here, Pietrangelo replied:

“I don’t know if frustration’s the right word. Look, ‘Army’ is going to say the same thing. We tried and we tried and we tried. And sometimes things just don’t work out. And so I wouldn’t necessarily say frustration. I think both sides are disappointed.”

As for the signing Friday of Boston’s Torey Krug, in effect his replacement in St. Louis, Pietrangelo said: “I was a little surprised. . . . ‘Army ‘saw an opportunity to get an elite player and he did that.”

Pietrangelo said he didn’t know much about Krug other than what he gleaned from playing against him.

“He’s a good player,” Pietrangelo said. “Look, ‘Army’ found a way to upgrade the team and he did. So you can’t blame him for it.”


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