The Calgary Flames could be connected to yet another big name that’s hitting the free agent market on Oct. 9. The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun appeared on TSN on Tuesday to discuss the status of pending unrestricted free agent Alex Pietrangelo, currently of the St. Louis Blues.
One of the teams he sees as a fit for Pietrangelo? The Flames.
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) September 22, 2020
Pietrangelo is 30, and a right shot defender. He’s been the captain for the Blues over the past four seasons, and he’s amassed a resume that includes capturing the Stanley Cup, a World Cup, Olympic gold and World Junior gold. He’s won everything but a Norris, and he finished fourth in voting this season. A top four of Mark Giordano, Pietrangelo, Noah Hanfin and Rasmus Andersson does sound pretty formidable.
Here’s LeBrun’s take on why the Flames are a fit:
The Flames have two top four defensemen who are pending UFAs in Travis Hamonic and TJ Brodie so they have openings, and what an unbelievable upgrade Pietrangelo would be.
LeBrun goes on to discuss the cap implications for Vegas and Toronto a bit, but the Flames might also have a bit of a problem cramming Pietrangelo under the $81.5 million cap. Sure, Brodie and/or Hamonic are likely headed elsewhere. But the Flames have just over $16 million in cap space and throwing roughly half of that to lock up Pietrangelo would put them in a tight salary cap position to fill out the remainder of their roster.
That said, Pietrangelo is a heck of a player, and if there’s a way to make it work without having Brad Treliving fill out the roster with Stockton Heat bodies making league minimum salary, it’s probably worth exploring.
For those keeping track at home, it seems likely that the Flames will be kicking tires on three big fish on the free agent market: Pietrangelo, Vancouver goalie Jacob Markstrom, and Arizona forward Taylor Hall. This year’s free agent frenzy begins at 10 a.m. Calgary time on Oct. 9.