After a painfully long summer (for fans at least,) September finally arrived with the promise of a full training camp and pre-season for the NHL. One thing missing from the St. Louis Blues as camp opened was their star defenseman, Alex Pietrangelo. Fans had been continually assured throughout the summer months, by GM Doug Armstrong himself, that Petro would be a Blue, for sure, no matter what. I never doubted Army’s word and finally on Friday, September 13, Petro sat down and signed a deal that will keep him in the Bluenote for 7 years to the tune of $45.5 million.
Don’t mistake me as I say what I’m about to say- I’m thrilled a deal got done and that Petro is going to be patrolling the blueline at Scottrade Center for years to come. I think he has huge potential BUT, I kind of feel like he strong-armed the Blues into the long-term deal. Armstrong has a history of brokering “bridge” deals with players who perhaps have a bit more to prove before getting inked for more than 2 years and Petro was coming off arguably his worst season defensively.
I would’ve been much more impressed with Petro had he agreed to take a shorter deal to prove himself a bit more before getting the “big bucks,” but I trust Army’s ability to judge his players and he thinks Petro is a perennial Norris candidate. With the salary cap likely going up next year, and the yearly structure of the contract ($5 million this season, $5.5 million in 2014-15, $6.5 million in 2015-16, $7 million in each of the next three seasons, and $7.5 million in 2019-20) it could very well end up that the Blues got a pretty nice bargain if Petro starts collecting major hardware and can lead the Blues to the Cup.
Was this the best deal for the St. Louis Blues at the time? Maybe not, but if nothing else it showed the very definition of compromise and the desire for Petro to stay with the Blues. Now it’s time to prove he’s worth the money. October 3rd can’t get here soon enough. The Blues have one of the best team defenses 1-6 in the league with the likes of Jay Bouwmeester, Petro, Kevin Shattenkirk, Roman Polak, Jordan Leopold, and Barret Jackman. Shut ‘em down boys.
GO BLUES! LONG LIVE THE NOTE!