Could St. Louis Blues’ GM Doug Armstrong be this year’s incarnation of Predators’ GM David Poile?
Teams will be able to sign Pietrangelo to an offer sheet if the Blues fail to get him inked by noon. And, by all accounts, it’s not believed that Armstrong will have the blueliner re-signed before then.
Yet, if last year’s Weber scenario taught us anything it’s this: there are clubs willing to extend huge deals to big name players… especially defensemen.
Last July the Philadelphia Flyers were that organization. They signed the Predators’ captain to a staggering 14-year offer sheet worth $110 million dollars.
Pietrangelo fits the bill for the type of player that could garner the same type of attention that Weber received in 2012 free agency. He’s generally considered to be one of the best young defenders in the game.
The 23-year-old is an impressive skater for a d-man of his stature at 6’1 and tipping the scales at just over 200lbs. Pietrangelo is a force at both ends of the rink, showcases a powerful point shot, and is not afraid to lay the body when the opportunity presents itself.
That’s a very attractive package especially for a team like the Detroit Red Wings who are still searching for that new pillar to replace Nicklas Lidstrom on the backend.
Question is: would Holland and company be willing to extend an offer sheet to Pietrangelo?
If we go by Holland’s track record the answer is no. Detroit’s M.O. is that they have never been an organization who has embraced the idea of trying to swindle RFA’s away from their home clubs.
Holland’s anti-offer sheet stance can likely be traced back to the Wings negative experience with the Carolina Hurricanes signing Sergei Fedorov to a 6-year $38 million dollar offer sheet in 1998. Detroit matched the offer, but it sure left a sour taste in their mouth.
The type of contract Pietrangelo would command offers another set of challenges entirely. Yet, it goes without saying that it would take a very substantial offer sheet (term & money) for the Blues not to match.
Another possibility for the Wings could be the trade route. If St. Louis can’t get a deal done for Pietrangelo, perhaps they would consider moving him via trade.
The Blues could be interested in making a deal with the Wings for two reasons:
- Detroit has a number of promising prospects to offer.
- St. Louis could take comfort in the fact that they would no longer be trading with a division rival.
Granted, the offer sheet route has a very low success rate. Nevertheless, in a thin free agent market maybe the Wings’ money would be better spent trying to lure a young star to Hockeytown.
Say what you will, but any scenario where you can acquire a franchise-defining player like Pietrangelo is an option that needs to be considered.