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Pietrangelo hopes he'll sign contract to remain with Blues

Defenseman in final season of deal with defending champions entering Qualifiers

by Louie Korac / Independent Correspondent

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. -- Alex Pietrangelo said he remains hopeful that he will sign a contract to remain with the St. Louis Blues.

The 30-year-old defenseman is in the final season of a seven-year, $45.5 million contract ($6.5 million average annual value) and can become an unrestricted free agent.

"Not much to say about it other than the same thing [general manager Doug Armstrong] said," the St. Louis captain said Monday when the Blues opened training camp as part of Phase 3 of the NHL Return to Play Plan. "The goal is to get something done. That's been the goal since the beginning. We'll see where things go. [The] focus right now is to get through this thing healthy and playing. We'll see where things end up."

St. Louis (42-19-10) had the best points percentage in the Western Conference (.662) when the NHL season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. The Blues, Colorado Avalanche (42-20-8, .657), Vegas Golden Knights (39-24-8, .606) and Dallas Stars (37-24-8, .594) will play each other once in a round-robin (three games for each team) in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers to determine seeding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

The Blues, the defending Stanley Cup champions, will play their first game Aug. 2 against the Avalanche in Edmonton, the hub city for the 12 participating Western teams.

Pietrangelo, who had 52 points (16 goals, 36 assists) in 70 games this season, said of his contract status, "It's kind of a tough question to answer right now. There wasn't a whole lot going on. There's a whole lot of questions regarding everything moving forward, [the four-year extension of the NHL/NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement that was ratified Friday], a lot of things that both sides were kind of sitting down waiting to see what was going to happen before any discussions. Quiet, but we're worrying about the playoffs right now. We'll move forward and see what happens here."

Armstrong said contract talks with Pietrangelo are unlikely to happen until the season is over.

"We know what the [NHL salary] cap is ($81.5 million for next season)," Armstrong said, "and we'll make decisions based on that."

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