The St. Louis Blues today announced the re-signing of defenseman Alex Pietrangelo to a seven-year, $45.5 million contract.

Blues ink Alex Pietrangelo to a seven-year deal.

Blues ink Alex Pietrangelo to a seven-year deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s an annual average cap hit of $6.5 million, smack in the middle of what the Pietrangelo camp sought ($7 million per) and the Blues sought ($6 million).

It’s a significant investment by the Blues, but one they evidently feel confident in making, as Pietrangelo is believed poised on the brink of superstardom.

 If the Blues are to stage a run for the Stanley Cup this season, they need Pietrangelo. He’s an excellent defenseman with all the tools to become a future Norris Trophy contender, and should anchor the Blues defense for years.

Only 23, his best seasons lay ahead of him, and if he blossoms as anticipated, this contract could turn into a bargain over the long haul. Fortunately, his holdout only lasted three days so it shouldn’t adversely affect his performance as he tunes up with his teammates over the preseason.