Despite not having a contract with just more than two weeks left before the start of Blues' training camp restricted free-agent defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said he's optimistic he'll be in St. Louis on time. The Blues and Pietrangelo's agent Don Meehan have been unable to reach agreement on a new deal this summer. There is the potential that if the defenseman is still unsigned when Blues' players report for physicals on Sept. 11 he could be a holdout. But while in Calgary for Team Canada's Olympic orientation camp this week Pietrangelo told NHL.com senior writer Dan Rosen that he's not thinking along those lines at this point. "I've just kind of been moving forward as if I'm going to start the season like a regular year" Pietrangelo told NHL.com. "I've been working hard all summer trying to put it behind me here for this week and trying to enjoy this process and you now hopefully something gets done here in the short term." Pietrangelo 23 did not hold arbitration rights this offseason because he signed his three-year entry-level contract before the age of 20 and does not have four years professional experience. In June Pietrangelo wrapped up his entry-level deal which paid him a base salary $787500 plus bonuses (pro-rated due to the lockout) for the 2012-13 season. He is believed to be asking in the neighborhood of $7 million per season while the Blues don't seem willing to go higher than $6 million. As a rookie in 2010-11 Pietrangelo had 43 points and in '11-12 he posted 51 points which ranked No. 5 among all defensemen in the NHL. He was named to the league's second-team all-star team and garnered some Norris Trophy consideration.
Pietrangelo remains optimistic about new contract
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Aug 27