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Pietrangelo Discusses Eichel’s Impact, VGK Depth And Post Hockey Career

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s hard to imagine the Golden Knights without defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. The alternate captain has only played in 88 games with Vegas but feels like he’s been a part of the organization for much longer. That’s one of the reasons why he’s here. Pietrangelo is an owner’s dream, the ultimate pro on and off the ice, and understands where to set life’s priorities.

The 14-year-career veteran joined 32 Thoughts: The Podcast and shared his thoughts on Jack Eichel’s debut, Vegas’ depth, being a family man, and Chandler Stephenson winning suitcases full cash on Super Bowl Sunday.

Mr. Stephenson won the two big squares. He walked away, it was a good day for him let’s just say that. –Pietrangelo on 32 Thoughts Podcast

Last night Vegas fell 2-0 to the highly-skilled Colorado Avalanche. The loss I’m sure stung but quickly healed after watching Eichel skate 17+ minutes in a playoff-type game against the West’s top team. It was the first step for Eichel and Pietrangelo towards their ultimate goal of bringing a Stanley Cup to Las Vegas.

A player like Jack with the amount of skill that he has and the way the game is played now, as soon as he starts feeling more comfortable with the physicality after what he went through the skill will take over, the hockey sense will takeover and off he’ll go. I don’t think any of us expect it to be too long. He’ll still be an impact player right away but we all understand it’s going to take a little bit of time for him. Even if he feels 75% of where he was a year ago that it’s pretty darn good. –Pietrangelo on 32 Thoughts Podcast

At this moment, and over the next five seasons, both are arguably the two most important figures in the organization. Future championships will be won or lost with Eichel and Pietrangelo on the ice. Their success will be tied to the hip.

You can really see the skill level. The movement with the puck. The puck skill at high speed. You look at the goals he’s scored, the highlight reel goals. He’s doing everything at full speed. It’s only a compliment when you have players like Patch on the side, especially for a guy that shoots the way he does. That’s only going to be a better thing for Patch. He’s excited. It’s been a long time. –Pietrangelo on 32 Thoughts Podcast

Most likely, Eichel will have his “A” stitched on a jersey, maybe even by next season. If all targets are reached by the time their contracts expire, we could be looking at two retired numbers. Among others.

The former St. Louis Blues captain understands the adjustments that Eichel made going from one franchise to another. Having to build a foundation in a new city and get comfortable with a new coach’s systems at the same time. We pointed out several times last season when Pietrangelo looked out of sorts and how it affected certain games. When it all came together he was the Golden Knights’ most reliable player.

I think the biggest thing for me coming over last year the first ten to fifteen games was more so the systems. Not so much the players. You can get out there and play with your teammates and feel comfortable but if you’re going to a new system it’s sometimes a big change. It’s going to take awhile to adjust. –Pietrangelo on 32 Thoughts Podcast

In his second season with Vegas, Pietrangelo has taken on a heavy workload in breaking in young guys, or fill-ins for injured players all while skating 25 minutes per night. Adding Eichel will make his job easier.

We got some really good talent up front. We like our depth where it is, putting Jack up there. The way things slot in looks real good for us especially up front. We’ve only played handful of games with our full roster this year so that part has been a little bit frustrating. As a defenseman knowing you’re going to be able to go on the ice with any of these four lines and have a chance to score or have a strong shift that makes life easy for me. The forwards are saying the same things about the defenseman on the backend. We got a really good balance. –Pietrangelo on 32 Thoughts Podcast

Speaking of injuries, Pietrangelo addressed captain Mark Stone’s long-term back issue. Surprisingly, while the two were watching the Rams beat the Bengals the defenseman had no clue his teammate and friend was about to go on the LTIR the next day.

I actually don’t know what the update is. I saw him yesterday watching football but we talked more football and golf then we did anything. It’s rare thing to find with a player that responsible defensively and that strong one end of the ice and be just as strong on the other end of the ice. That’s why he makes the money that he does and that’s why he plays at the level that he does. –Pietrangelo on 32 Thoughts Podcast

His experience over the years including becoming a Stanley Cup champion allows Pietrangelo to have a big voice in the room. Whenever he can add some advice, encouragement, or motivation he shares some of his wisdom. One thing he won’t do is show off his championship ring.

No. I keep that separate. I don’t think anyone needs motivation to win the Stanley Cup. That’s why we’re all here. Every year that goes by and you don’t win and you see someone else win and it makes you even more hungry. I talk about my experiences but a part from that I’m here to win here. That’s my job. There are a lot of hard days in this business. You make it to the conference finals, you lose in the first round, you lose in the second round. It’s easy to get discouraged. When you go through the trenches with guys, especially in the playoffs that’s when you become close. –Pietrangelo on 32 Thoughts Podcast

Pietrangelo was loose with Friedman and Marek which made for a fun, light interview. Normally, Vegas’ alternate captain is straight to the point and gives boardroom-type responses. It’s refreshing to hear Pietrangelo let go and dive into topics like player finances, leaving work at work, and bribing Team Canada to stay away from inviting his teammates.

Pietrangelo also hinted that this contract could be his last.

You got to prepare. At 36 or 37, I can’t keep track of how many years I have left. At 37 or whatever it is I’m not going to be doing this anymore. –Pietrangelo on 32 Thoughts Podcast

If he understands the game, the business and is fiscally aware then all signs indicate a future career in management.

You got to find that routine as a father and as a husband and a wife. I used to take work home all the time and I’m sure a lot of guys sat the same thing. When I go home my kids don’t know if I played well or if I played bad. My wife does. It’s made me a better person and a better player. I can go to the rink everyday and feel refreshed. One, because I didn’t think about hockey at home and two, I actually was able to get four kids to school somehow by myself.-Pietrangelo

Maybe, he’ll be VGK’s first player-GM in his last couple of seasons. Of course, that will come down to if the father of four has the time.

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21 Comments

  1. THE hockey GOD

    ten million dollars.

    hope he doesn’t pass the the 7 million dollar farce of franchise
    and becomes the choke of the franchises.

  2. Why is it nobody can actually be positive when posting comments here or on any of the social media platforms. It’s a game that a many would love to make the money that todays athletes make but when it comes down to just these athletes they’re just trying to provide for their families. Just like you and I, we have good days and bad days! These two gentlemen are professionals as all of the Knights are and do a hell of a lot on and off the ice and I for one appreciate their hard work, dedication and their attempts to entertain the fans of the sport! As long as they continue to contribute 100 percent to the team, the sport I’m going to be rooting for them and hopefully Vegas will be the home of Lord Stanley’s Cup one day soon!

  3. Daryl

    Over the next 5 years? Petra is on his decline and while VGK will be paying him as a top tier defenseman, let’s be honest, in 5vyears VGK will wish they could trade him

    • No matter the positives, there is always some kind of a downside, someone to remind us.

      • Daryl

        And there is always someone with rose colored glasses that just can’t see what’s right in front of them. You are just upset because you couldn’t rub Eichel return in certain posters noses

        • Pistol Pete

          I am a sincerely a VGK fan. Fans want to see the future positively or to use your cliche, through rose colored glasses. You’re right though, I am looking forward to gloating to the bashers over Eichel’s success here. Myself, wife and son are attending the Kings tonight. Sure will be sweet if Jack bags his first.

          Sorry if I came at you a little over your Petro negativity. I should be be able to better deal with naysayers on internet forums as I go way back with them. I would use the ignore feature if available here—not on all posters who make negative comments just ones I have determined are not really VGK fans. Some spend time posting here when they are not fans—we all have our needs.

          • Daryl

            It’s all good…. As for Petra I was never big on his signing. Not so much that VGK signed him but the deal itself. It will come back to bite VGK in the ass.

            Petra was brought in for his offense but as it stands right now, he has fewer goals and assists overall and fewer points on the PP than Theo. And that’s playing around 150 more minutes also. Petra also has 20 more penalty minutes. IMO, Petra just hasn’t been getting it done.

            And the there is Eichel. If you were to look back t my post prior to last game, I said whatever happens in that game, whether he scores 5 goals or gets destroyed, it would not be indicative of things to come

  4. THE hockey GOD

    Jesse Granger
    @JesseGranger_
    ·
    1h
    Golden Knights lines at morning skate:

    Slight change with Stephenson moving to the top line wing. I like it. So much speed around Pacioretty.

    Pacioretty—Eichel—Stephenson
    Marchessault—Karlsson—Smith
    Janmark—Roy—Dadonov
    Carrier—Howden—Kolesar

    I like it lots of speed on top line, around 67

    (and none on down lines)

    • I was at the skate too. I like Stephenson on the top line, Roy 3C and Howden 4C. Howden was doing excellent in that role. Those are the perfect lines w/o Stone imo.

  5. Erik Vornoff

    I don’t see what the fuss is all about with Eichel. He’s a ppg player comparable to Getzlaf.

  6. THE hockey GOD

    think VGK will pick a big center that can lay the body down ?

    Connor Bunnaman C, Philadelphia Flyers
    cb
    Connor Bunnaman has been placed on waivers by Philadelphia.

    Bunnaman has appeared in 15 games with the Flyers this season. He also has six goals and nine points in 28 matches with Lehigh Valley of the AHL.

  7. THE hockey GOD

    no 55 got a wake up call from coach
    as he
    sat in last game; believe it is first healthy scratch of season
    for
    no. 55.

    Maybe it will spark some goals ??

    As a coach , one of the best ways to captures a players attention is to

  8. PPete – help me understand something – why do you always state or imply any criticism of the knights isn’t a vgk fan. Maybe you are unaware that a hockey fan in general probably for years looks at the reality of situations not just the moment. I venture to say most if not all posters are huge vegas fans and only want to see them win and play like a champion ship team. While some of the comments are often out of left field it doesn’t make them any less of a vegas fan than you purport to be. Probably the biggest difference is reality versus wishful thinking.
    Enjoy the game tonight k hope team A shows up and they win. If Eichel scores for you that would be nice for your son to see – a first as a knight.

    • I don’t feel all posters who make negative comments are not true VGK fans, just sense there are some who hang out here to bash the team and are not fans. I could be wrong but I have enough experience on internet boards to know there are always posters who are 100% contrarian. This is a site in spirit for VGK fans, however non VGK fans can participate. I would have to be pretty stupid to not understand that fans should never criticize their team, in fact I am able myself to see weaknesses or areas that need improvement. I am also wise enough to not allow wishful thinking to run my life.

      Thank you for your best wishes for the game tonight. Hopefully we see Eichel’s first goal for VGK. It may still be early as he’s rusty but I could see on Wednesday how fluid he is even after the eleven month layoff.

  9. Pistol Pete

    Jack gets his first point! Still looking pretty rusty though. Hasn’t quite got his timing back.

  10. Blues fan coming in peace. I saw this on Google News.

    “Petra was brought in for his offense”

    I admit I haven’t followed the Knights any more than I generally follow the league. Has it been 2+ years already? Wow. Well it’s all still just 1 Covid year anyway. But I’ll say that what you get with Petro is a great all-around defenseman, with all aspects of play at a high level. That does include offense. He is more puck possession rather than killer instinct scorer. That said, his points pace looks fine this season, maybe lower than some of his other seasons, but about the same as our cup season.

    .56 ppg this season
    .74 2019-20 (highest ppg season)
    .58 2018-19 (cup)
    .69 2017-18 (highest scoring season)
    .60 2016-17
    .51 2015-16

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