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Blues negotiations with RFA Pietrangelo ‘broken off for now’

Sep 11, 2013, 9:23 AM EDT

Alex Pietrangelo AP

One of the young cornerstones of the St. Louis Blues’ franchise, 23-year-old defenseman Alex Pietrangelo will not be reporting to training camp today.

“Talks between the Blues and Alex’s camp have broken off for now,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong said via the team’s website.

Pietrangelo has 29 goals and 121 points in 224 NHL games after completing his entry-level contract. The Blues have been leaning heavily on him for years, with Pietrangelo averaging 25:07 minutes per contest in 2013. Even with St. Louis’ stacked defense, they would have a sizable void to fill without Pietrangelo.

That being said, the Blues have been making preparations in case they ended up in this very situation. For example, blueliner Ryan Whitney has already agreed to attend the Blues’ training camp on a tryout basis.

Meanwhile, Armstrong has publicly reinforced his commitment to keeping Pietrangelo, even if the two sides haven’t been able to agree to terms yet.

“We’ve made it very clear since the summer,” Armstrong said last week. “Alex will be a St. Louis Blue when he plays hockey again.”

In other words, they probably won’t trade Pietrangelo’s rights and they are likely to match any offer sheet the all-star defenseman signs.

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