Blues fans aren’t the only ones curious about how the Alex Pietrangelo contract talks have stagnated. Today on ESPN 101’s Rivs & BK show, former Blues defenseman and teammate of Pietrangelo’s Carlo Colaiacovo offered his thoughts on the situation.
Former #STLBlues defenseman @CarloColaiacovo says on #RivsAndBK that he doesn't understand how the Alex Pietrangelo negotiations reached this point, and if Petro walks the Blues will spend the next 5-7 years looking for his replacement.— 101 ESPN St. Louis (@101espn) September 21, 2020
PODCAST: https://t.co/lCEvRbNoo0 pic.twitter.com/xjiKJrRgq4
For the sound deprived, here’s the above clip:
“It’s not the player’s job to sell himself to the team he’s been on; it’s the team’s job to sell the player on staying. That’s not just in Alex’s case, that’s in the case of every unrestricted free agent case that has resurrected in the last couple of years. It’s the team’s responsibility on selling the player on staying.
“And yeah, there is a little bit of an advantage here because there’s familiarity with each other, but it’s still a process that Alex should have the advantage in, because the decision could be easy for him to just go to October 9th and see if what he’s looking for is out there.”
Cola believes that Petro’s first choice is to stay with the Blues, but if push comes to shove, he’ll test the market. He raises a good point - Pietrangelo shouldn’t have to sell himself to Doug Armstrong. Armstrong knows who his top defenseman is, he knows the quality and caliber of play he brings nearly every night.
Is this the issue with this deal, though? If there’s no way that Armstrong is confused about who he’s signing, then what’s the hold up? Obviously, it’s the salary cap. It’s been rehashed many times that the Blues will probably have to clear even more space to get Pietrangelo up to a dollar amount that is something he would entertain.
The other issue may be term. Armstrong let David Backes walk to the Bruins, who gave the former captain a payday and a long term deal that turned into an albatross. Armstrong was right to not give years to Backes that he wasn’t going to play high quality hockey through. Backes’ playing style all but telegraphed the pending problems.
You probably won’t have that issue with Pietrangelo. Long term deals have been an issue with Armstrong occasionally - look at Alexander Steen - but in this case he may be less likely to worry.
What he can’t tune out, though, is that right now, the money isn’t there. That’s more than likely the top hold-up, regardless of Colaiacovo stressing the holdup is structure over amount. It doesn’t matter how much Pietrangelo sells himself to Armstrong, if Army can’t afford what Pietrangelo is asking for, Pietrangelo is just going to get paid elsewhere.