- The Vegas Golden Knights have signed free agent defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is an unrestricted free agent.
- Pietrangelo is visiting Las Vegas last weekend to meet with VGK executives.
- Pietrangelo’s deal is for 7 years and $61.6 million.
Unrestricted free agent Alex Pietrangelo is now a member of the Vegas Golden Knights. The move isn’t exactly unexpected–Pietrangelo was in Las Vegas over the weekend to listen to the pitch from Knights’ brass to lure him from ‘flyover country’ to the desert oasis.
It must have worked since he agreed to terms with VGK on Monday. The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that his contract is worth $61.6 million over 7 years. That gives him a $8.8 million cap hit, second highest on the team behind right wind Mark Stone’s $9.5 million. It also makes him the fifth highest paid defenseman in the NHL behind San Jose’s Erik Karlsson, LA’s Drew Doughty, Nashville’s Roman Josi and New Jersey’s P.K. Subban.
In addition, Pietrangelo was given a full no-movement clause. This means he can’t be traded, waived or sent to the minor leagues without his consent. Mark Stone is the only other Knights player with a similar clause in their contract. That’s a huge commitment from Vegas but Pietrangelo brings a ton of value to the team. ThePointHockey is a website that does data driven hockey analysis and outlined his value on Twitter noting ‘Pietrangelo does it all at an elite level’:
Vegas now has to get under the salary cap and they’ve got some tough decisions to make. They’ve already traded center Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets, declined a qualifying offer to free agent forward and traded popular defenseman Nate Schmidt to the Vancouver Canucks for a third round draft pick in 2022.
The plot thickened considerably on Monday night after the news of Pietrangelo’s acquisition broke. Golden Knights’ GM Kelly McCrimmon indicated that the team’s goaltending tandem next season would be Robin Lehner and Marc-Andre Fleury. After Lehner signed a five year, $25 million deal this offseason it looked very likely that Vegas would try to move Fleury and his $7 million cap hit. That means VGK will spend $12 million on goaltending, second most in the league.