What more can you say about Alex Pietrangelo? He’s the only captain in St. Louis Blues history to have brought a Stanley Cup back to the Gateway City.
That alone makes him one of the best players to ever wear the sweater, let alone just in the past decade. However, it is not just a token inclusion.
Pietrangelo really was one of the better players for the Blues, with or without the Cup. The Cup just puts you over the top.
Pietrangelo came in just slightly after guys like Backes, Oshie and Perron, but he was still part of that group. In defense to all of them, they were expected to do too much without any veteran leadership to help them along the way.
Pietrangelo did not have the benefit of learning from a guy like Chris Pronger the way Colton Parayko is learning from Petro. He did it all on the fly.
Pietrangelo has played in 12 seasons overall, nine of which could be considered full seasons. He has only failed to reach 50 or more points in three of those seasons, one of which was his rookie year. He still got 43 points that year.
The only season Pietrangelo ever dropped below 40 points was 2015-16 when he had 36. He still managed 24 points in 47 games in the lockout season.
He’s done all that without being considered an offensive defender. That will likely hold him back from ever winning a Norris Trophy, but it proves he is a more complete player.
Without scoring a ton of goals or being a power play specialist, Petro still gets his numbers. He doesn’t sacrifice defensively like some guys do, either.
2019-20 was the first full season Pietrangelo ever had fewer than 100 blocked shots. His defense has gotten better as he has gone through his career, not that it was ever bad. He is a player that has grown wiser with years, relying less on physical traits and more on intelligence and positioning when playing against some of the league’s elites.
Not coincidentally, the two times the Blues have gone the farthest in the playoffs during Pietrangelo’s time were the years he did the most. In the trip to the Western Conference Final in 2015-16 and the Stanley Cup run, Petro had five goals and 39 points.
He also combined for 47 hits and 106 blocked shots. Not too bad for 46 games.
How Pietrangelo’s contract works out at the end of 2020 will solidify or change a lot of fans opinions on the captain. That is fair, but we should never forget that he was one of the best during the 2010’s.