True number one
One of the biggest reasons to keep Pietrangelo is the fact that he is the Blues top right-handed defenseman. Not only is he on their top pairing, but he would be on the top pairing for a lot of teams.
While I may personally feel the Blues could survive without Pietrangelo, there are some very smart hockey people that disagree. On 101 ESPN, Jamie Rivers and Carlo Colaiacovo waxed poetic about the skills the Pietrangelo brings to the table.
One thing Rivers brought up, which I had not considered before, is to imagine what most teams would be willing to trade in order to get a player like Pietrangelo. When you consider the haul that a team could get and all your team has to do is pay money, it changes the perspective a little.
One of the things teams look for most when building a team, beyond goaltending, is defense. They say to win championships you need a goalie, a star center and a top defenseman.
The game is flooded with left handed shooters too, which seems odd given that left handed people are the minority in general society. Regardless, Pietrangelo being a right-handed shot makes him even more valuable.
Petro has fallen into the category of playing here long enough that fans often discount his abilities. Yet, his versatility in playing with various teammates shows how good he can be.
In recent years, Pietrangelo has been paired with Jay Bouwmeester, Carl Gunnarsson, Joel Edmundson and Vince Dunn briefly and even a few shifts with Justin Faulk. More often than not, Pietrangelo was not the problem with any of those pairings.
He is a three-tool player too. He scores a high number of points, without being a solely offensive defenseman.
Pietrangelo still has good footwork at 30, even if he doesn’t have a lot of speed. He is also hard to play against because of his positioning and reach, even if he is not a bruising defender.
You don’t come around those attributes in one player very often. The Blues should definitely consider holding onto a player with all of that as opposed to trying to achieve those same things with various players.
Additionally, Colton Parayko looked a little lost during the 2020 playoffs against Vancouver. He’s still talented, but it made you doubt his ability to be a top-line defender right now.