Alex Pietrangelo is visiting the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday, SportsNet reported.
Pietrangelo. a defenseman who’s played all of his 12-season NHL career with the St. Louis Blues and has been their captain for the past four seasons, became an unrestricted free agent on Friday after he and the team were unable to agree on a new contract.
SportsNet tweeted a picture of Pietrangelo boarding a plane and said Pietrangelo confirmed he is going to visit the Golden Knights.
Earlier Saturday, Pietrangelo said the Blues’ decision to sign unrestricted free agent defenseman Torey Krug “caught me off guard,” The Athletic reported.
Pietrangelo told The Athletic he had “nothing to say” about a new contract with the Blues.
Although Krug agreed to a seven-year. $45.5 million contract (average annual value $6.5 million) on Friday, Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said Friday that the signing does not prevent them from re-signing Pietrangelo.
“You never know what happens in the future,” Armstrong said. “We have to get very creative. But Alex has been a great part of this franchise. You never know what happens in the future. What we were trying to do was knock things off as they came, and [Krug] came first.”
The NHL salary cap will remain at $81.5 million next season, which is targeted to begin Jan. 1, 2021.
Pietrangelo, selected by the Blues in the first round (No. 4) of the 2008 NHL Draft, has been one of the most consistent defensemen in the League since 2016-17. He scored an NHL career-high 16 goals last season, when he had 52 points in 70 games during the final year of the seven-year, $45.5 million contract ($6.5 million average annual value) he signed Sept. 13, 2013. He has scored at least 13 goals in each of the past four seasons.
The 30-year-old has scored 450 points (109 goals, 341 assists) in 758 regular-season NHL games and 51 points (eight goals, 43 assists) in 92 postseason games. Pietrangelo scored 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) in 26 playoff games to help the Blues win the Stanley Cup in 2019.
He told The Athletic on Thursday that not re-signing with the Blues would be disappointing.
“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,” he said. “Both sides have their own opinions, and sometimes things just don’t work out.”