Alex Pietrangelo and the St. Louis Blues have had contract discussions, the defenseman told The Athletic on Thursday.
“Yeah, we’ve had contact recently,” he said. “There’s been good discussions from both sides. So there’s been discussions, but we’ll see what gets presented tomorrow.”
Pietrangelo, who can become an unrestricted free agent at noon ET on Friday, Oct. 9, has played his entire 12-season NHL career with the Blues. He scored 52 points, including an NHL career-high 16 goals, in 70 regular-season games this season, the final of a seven-year, $45.5 million contract ($6.5 million average annual value) he signed Sept. 13, 2013.
Pietrangelo also scored six points (one goal, five assists) in nine postseason games, when St. Louis was eliminated by the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference First Round.
Asked if he expected to hear from the Blues on Friday, Pietrangelo told the website, “I would sure hope so. I can’t read their minds, to be completely honest with you. I have no idea, but I would expect that they would call.”
In September, Pietrangelo told The Athletic he expected to become a free agent but did not rule out re-signing with the Blues.
The NHL salary cap will remain at $81.5 million next season, which is targeted to begin Jan. 1, 2021.
“I guess the best way to sum it up, we haven’t really made much progress,” Pietrangelo said. “We just think right now, with where things are at, that maybe it’s best for both sides to see what’s going on in free agency, what the team can explore, what I can explore, and if there are better fits for each side.
“I’ve never once said that I’m ruling the Blues out. I’ve never said that. … I don’t think you really move on until it’s pen to paper and you’re going somewhere else. I truly don’t believe that, because it’s not official until then.”
Pietrangelo, who has been St. Louis’ captain since 2016, said the possibility of having to sign elsewhere would be a “tough pill to swallow.”
“Yeah, it’s disappointing,” Pietrangelo said. “You spend your whole career somewhere, and to have a situation where you go through this, the reality kind of hits that there’s a chance you’re going to be wearing a different jersey one day. … But again, this isn’t a blame game on either side. Both sides have their own opinions, and sometimes things just don’t work out.”
Selected by the Blues with the No. 4 pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, Pietrangelo has 450 points (109 goals, 341 assists) in 758 regular-season games, second in St. Louis history behind Al MacInnis (452). He also has 51 points (eight goals, 43 assists) in 92 postseason games, including 19 (three goals, 16 assists) in 26 games last season, when he helped the Blues win the Stanley Cup for the first time in their history.