Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.
The last time we heard a word about Alex Pietrangelo and the status of his ongoing negotiations with the St. Louis Blues was a week ago , when he officially became the all-time leader in "RFAs it took the Blues the longest to re-sign."
Blues general manager Doug Armstrong says no news isn't necessarily bad or good news, it's just the way of the world. Pietrangelo is the one player the Blues have left to re-sign, and they have a little more than $7.6 million in cap space, according to CapGeek, in which to do it. Right now, it appears that this is the sticking point. Pietrangelo and Co. want something along the lines of $7 million, the Blues don't want to go more than $6 million.
You certainly see the situation from both sides: Pietrangelo can argue that he's legitimately one of the best young defensemen in the league today, and thus should be pair along the lines of someone like Drew Doughty or Erik Karlsson, who make $7 million and $6.5 million against the cap, respectively. The Blues can argue that they don't want to go into the season with just $600,000 or so in cap space, and certainly must be taking the Oliver Ekman-Larsson ( $5.5 million ) or Zach Bogosian ( $5.14 million ) extensions this year as being the baselines for such a deal. There are also a few cautionary tales like Tyler Myers' deal.
The problem with the latter approach is this: Pietrangelo and Co. know for sure that with the cap set to explode in the next few years, something in the neighborhood of even $7 million for a 23-year-old who's already close to Norris caliber will look like a bargain in two or three seasons — along the same lines, it's still next to impossible to understand why Ekman-Larsson took the money he did for six years — and thus seem likely to demand a short-term deal and split the difference on money. That allows him to make this very decent cash now and then back a Brinks truck up to his house in two or three years when the cap's closer to $80 million. The Blues, for their part, will probably push for something closer to five or six years as the term on that deal, in an effort to get him closer to 30 years old for his next contract.
I suppose it once again comes down to the argument over the validity of bridge contracts as a means of saving you money in the long run, especially under this new CBA which limits term for the first time ever. And the thing is, too, that if you look at the Blues' D corps, the idea behind giving Pietrangelo similar term and only about 11 percent more per year than Jay Bouwmeester seems ludicrous. Bouwmeester will make $5.4 million against the cap until 2019, and Pietrangelo should, by rights, be making considerably more than Bouwmeester in a fair and rational universe.
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