Pietrangelo agrees to seven-year, $61.6M contract with Golden Knights

Alex Pietrangelo is leaving St. Louis after agreeing to a $61.6 million seven-year deal with Vegas. Jeff Roberson  Associated Press

Alex Pietrangelo has reportedly signed a maximum-term seven-year contract worth just less than $62 million with the Golden Knights after an official visit to the franchise over the weekend, several sources close to the situation are reporting.

The Vegas Golden Knights started as a lovable collection of misfits in their inaugural season with a team pieced together from the expansion draft. While there are many contributing factors - including the Blues signing Torey Krug to a massive deal on the first day of free agency - it still does seem odd that the relationship between the Blues and Pietrangelo soured in the manner that it did given his deep roots with the franchise and community. It's the fifth-biggest cap hit for a defenseman in the National Hockey League.

Adding the top free agent available gives Vegas another big-money talent, but the team will need to shed salary to fit him under the $81.5 million salary cap.

The Vancouver Canucks have acquired defenceman Nate Schmidt from the Vegas Golden Knights for a third-round pick in the 2022 National Hockey League draft.

Schmidt was among the trade candidates to clear cap space after Vegas already sent centre Paul Stastny to Winnipeg.

The 30-year-old defenceman leaves the St. Louis Blues after serving as captain of their 2019 Stanley Cup championship team. Pietrangelo is coming off scoring a career-high 16 goals despite the season being cut short at 70 games. He added one goal and five assists in nine postseason games. Brandon Saad was traded to the Avalanche, and the Blackhawks core is upset about Chicago's shift to a rebuild.

WILD: Minnesota re-signed goalie Kaapo Kahkonen to a two-year contract on Monday to avoid salary arbitration.

Pietrangelo has recorded 109 goals and 341 assists in 758 career regular-season games.

St. Louis moved on from Pietrangelo, a homegrown prospect who was the No. 4 pick in the 2008 draft, before he did.

For the Vegas Golden Knights, it was a successful - but expensive - courtship. Kahkonen will enter training camp behind Talbot and Alex Stalock on the depth chart. "He's a dynamic player who competes hard all over the ice".

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