Latest on the Blues and Ducks – August 11, 2013.

An update on Alex Pietrangelo’s contract talks, plus speculation on the Ducks goaltending.

Blues following their payroll model in talks with Alex Pietrangelo.

Blues following their payroll model in talks with Alex Pietrangelo.

STLTODAY.COM: In a piece on the Blues beefing up their payroll this season, Jeremy Rutherford noted GM Doug Armstrong has “moved cautiously” in negotiations with defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, not because of ownership unwillingness to pay a high price, but to continue following his pay-scale model. That would be re-signing key players to shorter-term deals for reasonable raises. The Blues minority owner, Tom Stillman, praised Armstrong for obtaining contracts ” that are fair to both parties, rather than getting caught up in the emotion of free agency and chasing contracts that are going to overburden the franchise in the future.”

BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa noted the slow progress in Pietrangelo’s contract talks, suggesting his “most desirable comparable is Drew Doughty” (eight years, $56 million), but “the more applicable comparable is Zach Bogosian”, who recently signed a seven-year, $36 million contract with the Winnipeg Jets. Shinzawa believes Pietrangelo and his agent, Don Meehan, hope to avoid a standoff similar to that of another Meehan client, Montreal’s P.K. Subban. He concludes if a bridge deal is the only alternative, Pietrangelo needs to accept it, as he can’t afford to stage a holdout.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed the Pietrangelo camp seeks $7 million per season, while the Blues apparently want something just under $6 million per season. Pietrangelo has no leverage as he’s coming off his entry-level contract, and a holdout won’t do he or the Blues any good. If he can get a bridge deal for two-three years at, say, $5.8 million per season, he should accept it, then push for the big payday in his next contract.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Ryan Dadoun speculates over what the Anaheim Ducks could do to resolve their goaltending situation. He noted Viktor Fasth’s strong debut and Jonas Hiller’s bounce-back performance last season, but believes the latter isn’t the clear starter for the Ducks entering this season. “Anaheim might even trade Hiller and put their faith entirely in Fasth, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see them start the season with both goaltenders,” writes Dadoun. He believes in the short term it would be worthwhile to let the two battle it out for the starters’ role, but suggested the Ducks could be forced to make a decision by the end of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What’s telling for me is Hiller played all seven games of the Ducks opening round series against the Detroit Red Wings, while Fasth never got off the bench. I believe they’ll keep their tandem intact to start the season, with Hiller having the inside track as their starter. Having already shipped out Bobby Ryan, the Ducks free up sufficient cap space to re-sign their remaining free agents and leave room for Teemu Selanne if he decides to return this coming season. If Fasth or Hiller emerges as the dominant goalie, one or the other could be used as a trade chip to address other needs as required later in the season.


  1. Re: Ducks Goaltending
    My guess is that Ducks will move either Hiller or Fasth by trade deadline. It appears that Anderson is ready to move up from AHL as a backup and Gibson is ready to take his spot in AHL. Of the two Hiller / Fasth clearly Ducks would like to move Hiller as his contract is up end of season but I only see that happening if one of the top teams has their goalies go down with a season ending injury. Example neither Boston or NYR or Maybe Chicago has a backup that can carry the load if their #1 goes down with a season ending injury, even though I’m not 100% sure of who Chicago has as backup with Emery gone. You can add Vancouver to that mix. Another option is if Calgary’s KHL (?) signing blows up they may be interested.
    If we reach January and Hiller is still a Duck then I think that Fasth will be gone as some teams low cost insurance policy and Hiller will be resigned. Just a guess but with Gibson and Andersons progress guessing the Ducks have to move somebody.

    • Cant see Calgary being interested even if Rammo goes down, I think they will play it out with McDonald and Irving. I dont think they would want to give up young assets if they are truly rebuilding. Never know tho with Feaster I guess.

    • Chicago has ‘the bulin wall’ as their back up I believe.

  2. The Flames won’t be interested in any goalies, they have too many in their system right now that they have to play to see if any are going to be starters. And lets face it, even if the Flames get the best goalie in the world they aren’t going to be a good team this year. I’m a Flames fan and I (along with most) can read the writing on the wall, heck even Feaster came out and said they’re in a rebuild. They are in no position to move assets for short term help, thats they way they did things for too long and look where it got them. The Flames need to move a couple more players and build slowly like the Blues did, not tank every year and get the #1 guy and still be crappy like the oilers did.

    • You want to win cups the way the Blues have been? Isn’t that what the Flames have been doing for the past 20 years. You’ll likely be picking first overall next year – does that mean the Flames are tanking the season?