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Blues hope to sign Pietrangelo, Schenn to contract extension

Each can become free agent after season, GM would 'love to have them here'

by Louie Korac / Independent Correspondent

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. -- Alex Pietrangelo and Brayden Schenn can each become an unrestricted free agent after this season and the St. Louis Blues hope to sign each to a contract extension before it gets to that point.

They helped St. Louis defeat the Boston Bruins in seven games to win the Stanley Cup last season for the first time in its history.

"I talked to both the players personally about our desire," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said Friday on the first day of training camp. "We'd love to have them here. Both players, I think you'll have to confirm that, I think they want to be here, but the way I look at this is, to get a deal done, both sides have to be comfortable to be uncomfortable. If only one of us is comfortable and the other one's uncomfortable, a deal won't get done. I've been doing this a long time and I understand how it works. I don't get to hung up on it. Both of those guys are going to be playing next year and the St. Louis Blues are going to have a team next year. Hopefully we're all together, but we'll just let that play itself out."

Pietrangelo, the No. 4 pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, had 41 points (13 goals, 28 assists) in 71 regular-season games and 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) in 26 Stanley Cup Playoff games last season. The 29-year-old defenseman is entering the final year of a seven-year contract signed Sept. 14, 2013.

"It's good to hear that from the manager and coaches, whoever says that, but my goal is to get ready for the start of the season," Pietrangelo, the Blues captain, said. "The rest of it hopefully will take care of itself. I don't want it to be a distraction; I really don't want to be talking about it."

Video: STL@BOS, Gm7: Pietrangelo beats Rask late in 1st

Schenn, acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers on June 23, 2017, for forward Jori Lehtera and two first-round NHL Draft picks, is in the final year of a four-year contract he signed with the Flyers on July 25, 2016.

"We all know it's a great organization here, brand-new practice rink, get treated really well, obviously a really good team on the ice," Schenn said. "At the end of the day, I've been through this situation before. I've been in a contract year before. This is my third time going through it. I don't think I really want to talk about it moving forward. No sense in it being a distraction. We obviously know me and [Alex] are in the same situation. We'll play it out. We're comfortable seeing how it shakes out here, and really there's nothing to talk about there."

Schenn had 54 points (17 goals, 37 assists) in 72 regular-season games and 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 26 playoff games last season. The 28-year-old forward has 124 points (45 goals, 79 assists) in 154 games over two seasons with the Blues.

"Whenever it gets done, tomorrow, July or whenever it may be, I think I'm comfortable with whatever situation moving forward," he said. "I don't want to be a distraction for the team. I know [Alex] doesn't want to be. We enjoy playing here, but we'll see how it shakes out."

Video: STL@BOS, Gm7: Schenn pads lead with strong one-timer

Armstrong said contract talks would be ongoing.

"I don't put any timelines on it," he said. "I won't stop negotiating or stop at a certain point. ... The dynamics change. Right now, if we get off to a great start and these guys are having their best years ever, of course, the economics go up. The reverse happens also. Right now, we know the ground rules. They change as the season goes along with good, bad play, health, injuries, all those things factor into the decisions you make moving forward."

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