Las Vegas

Knights new defenseman, Alex Pietrangelo ready for Vegas; watch news conference live

Watch Pietrangelo news conference live at 10:15 a.m.

Alex Pietrangelo is Vegas sure, and the Golden Knights are shuffling the deck to suit him in.

Pietrangelo signed a $61.6 million, seven-year take care of Vegas on Monday that carries an $8.8 million annual wage cap hit by 2027. It’s the fifth-biggest cap hit for a defenseman within the NHL.

Adding the highest free agent accessible offers Vegas one other big-money expertise, however the workforce wanted to make one other transfer to shed wage simply so as to add him. General supervisor Kelly McCrimmon mentioned the entrance workplace knew that moving into and dedicated to creating it occur to signal Pietrangelo.

“When we looked at opportunities to improve our team, we had what we believed was an incredible rare opportunity to add a defenseman, an elite player, like Alex to our team,” McCrimmon mentioned. “We projected what a contract would be for Alex and then at the end of that process asked ourselves, ‘Does this make us a better team? Does it improve our chances of winning?’ We believe quite strongly that it does.”

Before finalizing Pietrangelo’s contract, the Golden Knights traded defenseman Nate Schmidt to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2022 third-round choose, clearing his $5.95 million cap hit off the books. McCrimmon mentioned this was the one situation through which Vegas would have thought-about buying and selling Schmidt, and Vancouver grew to become the beneficiary.

“Nate has been one of the top defensemen in our division in recent years,” Canucks GM Jim Benning mentioned. “He’s a dynamic player who competes hard all over the ice. I think he will be a really good fit in our group.”

After already sending heart Paul Stastny to Winnipeg, the workforce doubtless must make another commerce to turn out to be cap compliant, which McCrimmon assured would be the case come opening day. That transfer is not going to be a commerce of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, even after committing long run to Robin Lehner, who is predicted to be ready for coaching camp after present process clean-up shoulder surgical procedure this week.

“We see the goaltending position being incredibly important this year,” McCrimmon mentioned. “Marc and Robin are going to be our goaltenders as we go into the offseason, into training camp and into the season.”

Goaltending wasn’t the Golden Knights’ challenge in shedding to Dallas within the Western Conference ultimate. Scoring was, as they’d simply eight objectives in 5 video games.

Pietrangelo, 30, is coming off posting a career-high 16 objectives regardless of the season being reduce quick at 70 video games. He completed fourth in Norris Trophy voting and is likely one of the finest right-shooting defensemen within the league, so including him does make Vegas higher, even on the expense of buying and selling a well-liked teammate in Schmidt.

“He’s one of the top four or five defenseman in the game,” McCrimmon mentioned of Pietrangelo. “He’s the primary over the boards in each state of affairs for his workforce.

Pietrangelo leaves the St. Louis Blues after serving as captain of their 2019 Stanley Cup championship workforce. He has 109 objectives and 341 assists for 450 factors in 758 regular-season NHL video games and had a postseason-best 16 assists and averaged nearly 26 minutes of ice time through the Blues’ Cup run.

“He has been a stalwart player for us, for this team for a number of years,” Blues common supervisor Doug Armstrong mentioned Friday evening. “A huge part of a championship-caliber team. He’s going to go down so far as one of the best Blues ever.”

St. Louis moved on from Pietrangelo, a homegrown prospect who was the No. 4 choose within the 2008 draft, earlier than he did. The Blues signed former Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug to a $45.5 million, seven-year contract Friday, basically ruling them out of maintaining Pietrangelo after greater than a 12 months’s price of negotiations couldn’t quantity to an settlement.

“We couldn’t find something that made everyone comfortable,” Armstrong mentioned. “It’s not the first time, it won’t be the last time this happens in the NHL. You just wish it didn’t happen because of the respect and the desire we had to keep Alex here.”

Pietrangelo grew to become the final of the top-tier free brokers to discover a touchdown spot, after Taylor Hall signed an $8 million, one-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres on Monday. Krug was the opposite, and winger Mike Hoffman is the highest participant left on the market after a 29-goal, 59-point season with the Florida Panthers.

Hall took the other strategy of Pietrangelo and Krug with the cap staying flat amid pandemic-ravaged revenues.

“We knew it was going to be a unique marketplace coming into free agency,” Hall said Tuesday. “Once free agency started, I think we were made aware pretty quickly at how much things had changed and how COVID had affected a lot of different things. So, it kind of changed our decision-making from there.”

Pietrangelo had wished to stick with St. Louis, however the signing of Krug altered his decision-making. The Toronto space native flew to Las Vegas on Saturday to fulfill with the Golden Knights brass and proprietor Bill Foley, a go to that paved the best way for this contract.

“It was clear to see how anxious he is to continue to win,” McCrimmon mentioned. “He made the comment that winning a Stanley Cup has made him even hungrier to do it again, so the commitment to winning is certainly a really big factor in his choosing to come here for the next stage of his career.”


Back to top button