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In this edition of the hotstove, we share our thoughts on the Alex Pietrangelo signing in Vegas.
Any time you are a competitive team and have an opportunity to add an elite player, I think you should do what it takes to get said player on the team.
Alex Pietrangelo is one of the best defensemen in the NHL and will undoubtedly make an already high-end team even better. There is some risk involved in the term, for sure, but I do think Pietrangelo will age fairly gracefully and, quite frankly, that’s the cost of doing business to get this kind of player. This move should help them stay within striking distance of teams like Tampa Bay and Colorado.
My only question is just *how* much better they’ll be with Pietrangelo. Don’t get me wrong; that’s not a slight on the player at all. They just already have an elite team, a high-end top pairing, and a PP1 QB in Shea Theodore.
If you’re not using Pietrangelo on PP1, you’re losing some of the value you get in adding the player. It’s kind of like adding an expensive top of the rotation starting pitcher and putting a 5 or 6 inning limit on him. You’re still getting great play, and you’re better for having him, but it puts a ceiling on just how much he can contribute.
In short, I like the signing. Pietrangelo will make Vegas even better at even-strength, and his presence should give PP2 a nice boost (whether he slots there, or they move Theodore to that unit). I just wonder if another team would have garnered better bang for their buck.
The signing by itself I think is a great move by the Golden Knights. I think a fairly strong argument can by made that Pietrangelo is one of the top 5 defenders in the league right now, and so bringing him in only helps to improve Vegas.
As always with long term free agent signings, the question will be how long will Pietrangelo be one of the best defensemen in the league? He is already 30 years old and has missed some time in his past few seasons. Pietrangelo should be an elite option for at least the next three seasons, but after that? Time will tell.
The one thing I dislike about the deal for the Golden Knights is that they had to trade Nate Schmidt to do it. Schmidt brings a great mix of offense and defensive awareness to Vegas and has been a staple of the team since it's birth. Adding an elite defender is great but losing a really good one makes it slightly less worthwhile.
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Thoughts on the Eric Staal trade?