Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/23/13 at 01:49 PM ET
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
It’s believed that he’s asking for something around $7 million per year, which is what it costs to sign that type of player these days.
Well, it comes down to Armstrong’s appetite for risk. It is … limited. He’s learned from the mistakes he made in Dallas. This is not a GM who throws money at a player simply because someone else could and did. He’s a live-within-your-means type of guy in a world where everyone else is trying to keep up the neighbors.
And right now, he’s not ready to handcuff himself to a player who has flirted with superstardom, but isn’t yet at that level. In fact, after putting together a breakthrough campaign in 2011-12 that earned him recognition as a Norris Trophy finalist, the 23-year-old’s play slipped last season, which forces Armstrong to think long and hard about what kind of player Pietrangelo really is before deciding how to handle the restricted free agent.
Can he be that superstar who elevates his play and puts his teammates on his back when it matters most? That’s certainly the consensus among long-suffering Blues fans. Or is he just another really good player, a supporting piece to hold down that spot on the top pair until something better comes along?
Should Armstrong treat Pietrangelo as the face, and future, of the franchise and hand him a seven- or eight-year deal that chains him to the franchise? That’s not the kind of thing he does. His longest offer was the five-year deal given to T.J. Oshie last summer. So does he hedge his bet with a similar offer? Or does he essentially ask Pietrangelo to prove himself with a two-year bridge deal?
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