According to multiple online reports, St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong is considering filing tampering charges against the Vegas Golden Knights based on negotiations with former Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo.
Check out this tidbit from Elliotte Friedman's most recent 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet:
Pietrangelo and St. Louis tried a few times in the last week before free agency, but there was never a sense it would close. I don’t think he believed hope was gone until the Blues signed Krug. When Pietrangelo hit the market, the rumour was seven years at $8.5 million per season from Vegas, and it ended up just north of that. He got the permanent no-move he wanted and only the last season of his contract has no signing bonus.
There was definitely some grinding, with one source saying, “Everyone was exhausted.” The only remaining question is if the Blues will ask the NHL to investigate for tampering.
Pietrangelo, of course, signed a monster $61 million deal with the Golden Knights just three days into free agency. The argument, I suppose, from the Blues' standpoint is that there's no way that Vegas GM Kelly McCrimmon could have come up with the deal to sign Pietrangelo in such short order. But... it was pretty obvious to everyone what the sticking point was between Pietrangelo and the Blues, right? Armstrong and the Blues refused to give out a signing bonus and no-move protection. Pietrangelo reportedly held those two conditions higher than anything else and you know what? He got them in Vegas. This isn't exactly rocket science... meet the guy's demands and he's likely to sign with you.
Frankly, I don't buy the tampering allegation.
In fact, neither does Blues insider Jeremy Rutherford.
Check it out:
This honestly sounds like much ado about nothing.
Does it suck that the Blues had their captain walk out the door for nothing? Absolutely. But the fact of the matter is that if the Blues really wanted Pietrangelo to stick around long-term then they would have taken his demands more seriously. They played hard ball with the guy and, as a result, they lost out. Sure, the signing of Torey Krug helps cushion the blow, but if I'm a Blues fan I'm still upset with the way the team's management handled Pietrangelo's negotiations.