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Playoff Pietrangelo Proves He’s Worth The Money

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When the Golden Knights inked All-Star defenseman Alex Pietrangelo to a jaw-dropping $61.6M contract it sent a strong message to the rest of the NHL. In the past Vegas’ front office gleefully spoke about “big game hunting,” and they did just that by signing the former St. Louis Blues captain to a 7 year/$8.8m AAV contract. In the end the money was well spent, even if the majority was earned in 19 postseason games.

At first glance, or really first 34 glances, the 2019 Stanley Cup champion looked pedestrian. Sharp skating, good defense but he was a step behind. Surely, Pietrangelo needed time to fit and understand coach Pete DeBoer’s plan of attack. Local fans are familiar with adjustment periods after Max Pacioretty’s leap in year two as a Golden Knight. Either way, the 31-year-old didn’t impress right out of the gate.

Pietrangelo’s First 34 Regular Season Games
2.78 Shots Per Game
0.47 Points Per Game
17 Points (4 Goals, 13 Assists)

The 2008 4th overall pick began showing signs of improvement with less than a month remaining in the regular season. It was almost like Pietrangelo said to himself ‘it’s go time.’ From that moment forward the slick shooting, right-handed defenseman became more involved offensively and was, for extended periods, the Golden Knights most lethal weapon. Vegas’ alternate captain was increasingly more comfortable and more impactful when the games mattered the most.

Pietrangelo’s Final 7 Regular Season Games
4.3 Shots Per Game
0.85 Points Per Game
6 Points (3 Goals, 3 Assists)

The last seven games of the regular season were a postseason warm-up for Pietrangelo. In 19 postseason games, the first-year Golden Knight was arguably Vegas’ most reliable skater. He finished the postseason leading the team in minutes played, shots on net, and power play points. Only William Karlsson had more playoff points and points per game. The 31-year-old played up to his pricey contract and performed like a Stanley Cup winning captain.

Pietrangelo In 19 Postseason Games
4.0 Shots Per Game
0.63 Points Per Game
12 Points (3 Goals, 3 Assists)

Over his career the 13-year veteran has averaged 0.59 points per game, its nearly identical to his 0.56 points per playoff game. As Vegas fans painfully know, points are tougher to come by in the postseason.

To be honest, I thought the conversation after year one would be how Pietrangelo’s contract would end up financially haunting the organization. Based on his early play, you couldn’t blame management for having some buyer’s remorse, but then playoff Pietrangelo appeared and the cost and commitment didn’t matter. The front office paid for the player fans watched in June, not January.

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44 Comments

  1. Pauly

    Oh what nonsense! This and the overpaying of goalies means 8 years of drought is coming for VGK…

    Dumbest fan base in sports is inspired by the dumbest bloggers in sports

    • Just another New Yorker who left his failing State, then starts trashing Nevadans, The Knights and our fan base. Get off this blog, your arrogance makes me puke.

  2. Daryl

    Petra starting playing well toward the end of the COL series and against MTL. I wouldn’t say he has lived up to his contract yet. He was still basically non existant on the PP, had a few costly TO and missed the net on too many shots. He definitely looked better and was probably the most consistent, besides Martinez, but he has a ways to go to prove his contract. Martinez has looked better since the day he arrived and is getting screwed by Petra contract.

    I’m not bashing Petra, he’s not responsible for his contract. More power to him. I just don’t think, nor have I’ve seen, where he is worth his contract.

    • Howard

      Daryl; according to the going rate for elite DMEN such as Petro, he’s fairly paid. Remember, contracts in any sport are determined by an established market going-rate. The potential issue with Petro is the backend of this contract as he ages. Now? Well worth his pay based on the current market condition.

      • Daryl

        I didn’t say his pay I said his contract, which includes length and clauses. He so didn’t play like an elite Dman. I still think 8.8 is on the very high end

  3. Emily

    Petra is so good he won Vegas the cup this year ha ha ha.

  4. Blitz

    I disagree, it proves nothing. If you don’t sell the farm on Petra, you go out and get more offensive help in a great center or maybe you get another sniper or maybe a little of both. Instead you get rid of a good center to get a d guy that did not make the VGK score more or look dangerous in the semi’s. SAME exact issue we had last year, but now with WAY less money to fix it. Did Petra start playing like a D3+ defenseman at this end? Whoopy doo, I bet he’s playing like a great golfer right now.

    • Howard

      Do you see Tampa unleashing a forward based points attack on The Habs?

      Tampa is loaded with forward talent, and I don’t see them dominating scoring.

      I see what I saw in VGK series, except Tampa is getting more fortunate bounces, and Price has not been good.

      Deeper u get in playoffs, fatigue takes ahold. Goaltending starts to matter way more. We had good goaltending in Habs series, BUT NOT GREAT, whereas Vas for Tampa has been great.

      Goaltending does matter, and MAF’s gaffe may have indeed cost VGK that series.

      Again, saying “our forwards aren’t doing their job” can be said about the remaining 2 hockey teams in final – it’s expected – not sure why people don’t understand this.

      • the hockey God

        i agree with you howard 1000000 %

        bad ice matters

        BIM

        and no . 7 proves that players that have own the cup knows what it takes to win in playoffs, while those that haven’t , are you listening Skipper and Gilligan (that would be 61 and 67), are marooned on an island after taking a three hour tour.

        finally I agree with a JASON article, the heavens will open, the rain will pour down , and then there will be rainbow and a pot of gold ! !

      • Daryl

        Howard,
        TB has had several 4, 5, and 6 goal games. Their offense has been a whole lot better than VGK’S. TB is also getting shots on net whereas VGK couldn’t hit an open net.

        I also disagree about the goaltending. Both of VGK goalies made some amazing saves that gave them chances to stay in or win games. If VGK could have gotten more shots, and especially more quality shits on net, they more than likely would have won. I also completely disagree on the MAF mistake. As I said before, if VGK doesn’t come back and win the next game then I would agree with you. Look at the bad position Lehner had which allowed a goal or even Petra turnover which led to a goal and a defeat earlier in in the playoffs. I don’t blame VGK losing on either of them.

        • the hockey God

          VGK 1) missed a lot of net, especially 81, 71 rarely misses the net and passes up slot shots by trying to make perfect pass to a forward in low probability location 2) and when they hit the net the shot a) hit Price in crest or b) in the head.

          Lehner nor Fleury would have stopped the OT goal, the Hab player did a fake out blind , no look pass to his winger. Fleury would have over played it, lehner moved to slow. Didn’t matter it was in the net regardless of which VGK goalie because of the lucky no look pass on bad ice.

          One good thing is that last year they lost in five games, this year they lost in six. So they are getting better, at losing in more games. Maybe in a few more years they will narrow it to 4 to 3 series loss, and eventually tip the turning point over. This COVID shortened season kicked them royally,

          Another fallacy is that MONTREAL was a bad team, well with their prior trade deals and prior to bringing up CC , yeah they were. But after those moves they turned into a different better team with addition a few players. So if MTL can add a few players to trun around their team, the VGK (or anyone else for that matter) can do the same thing.

          • Richard Santomauro

            Next year VGK should practice in snow slushy ice conditions. You know, real mucking practice.

      • Blitz

        So the forwards aren’t dominating the scoring for TB? Not sure i follow.

        Game1:
        5 goals total
        Forwards: 5 goals, 4 first assists
        Dman: 0 goals, 1 first assist

        Game 2:
        3 goals total
        Forwards: 3 goals, 2 first assists
        Dman: 0 goals, 0 first assist

        Of course Price doesn’t look as good. He actually has offensive talent (and scheme) scoring on him. It’s completely “amazing” that every goalie VGK has faced in the playoffs in the last couple of years is the “hot goalie”. They seem to amazingly see every shot and amazingly vegas never scores on rebounds etc. Yes, I am over exaggerating, but there is truth in it.

        • Daryl

          I’ve said the same thing when it comes to goalies we’ve faced…. It’s amazing how good we make goalies look lol

  5. the hockey God

    my home is in escrow for 250 k plus, we have a deal on yacht and slip in Newport OC. Going to live on a boat, at the beach.

    Does that mean I turn into a ducks fan ? OR Back to being an LA KINGS fan (always liked the kings better than ducks), or do a revert to my hometown back east team, OR can I remain a golden knights fan (even though all my hometown buds call them the golden showers, the golden chicken clucks, the bawk bawk bawk chicken chokers !)

    • Daryl

      I was blasted by this one dumbass for being a Pens fan since I didn’t live in Burgh. He was a Caps fan and was born in DC. His dad was a Caps fan and said you aren’t really a fan if you aren’t rooting for your home town. It was one of the dumbest comments I’ve ever heard.

      I say be a fan of whoever you want no matter where you live. It’s OK to root for your home town but that doesn’t mean they have to be your favorite team

      • the hockey God

        ty for kind words Daryl, too bad pauly doesn’t get it. People from DC are dumbshit, non productive, government worker parasites who never work and honest day in their pitiful lives.

    • Pauly

      Code – he is being evicted from his double wide so he is moving to Santa Ana to the shed behind his kids triple wide…

      Dumbest fans in all of sports

      • the hockey God

        wrong again Pauly, Resident Dummy – who you voted for ten times on Nov 3rd banned all evictions. My home near Red Rocks on west side of town is in escrow.

        My kids live in Westwood, they go to UCLA. One is studying to be a doctor and the other a , get this, a director. Thinks they are next Quintin Tarantino !! IF that doesn’t work, then special effects in computer simulation.

        And Pauly, we are all fleas on the back of dog of life, try to move up to the head because living on the tail is just so wrong.

        • Pauly

          Code – you’re a typical red neck loser who is being replaced by our growing progressive wave…

          Enjoy the shed

          • ARE YOU S-T-I-L-L HERE??
            YOUR DEROGATORY COMMENTS ARE IGNORANT AND UNWANTED.
            ARE YOU REALLY THAT MUCH OF A SLOW LEARNER???

        • Richard Santomauro

          thG – There is no such thing as a Government Worker. This species is completely instinct. They are called Government Employees. Waste of tax payer money across the board.

        • Daryl

          thg…. It’s not his fault. Pauline was born a boy from a crack whore mom and has transitioned into Pauline. All he knows about his father is he is an abusive alcoholic but he’s never met him. His mom has so many baby dadies there is telling which one is his. And now he spends his time drinking 40s he/she/it stole from the liquor store

          • the hockey God

            pretty obvious an entitlement red doper diaper baby whore recently released from a certifiable institution due to mental inabilities to function in a normal society.

    • Would love more info on the boat set up, how can I contact you?

      • the hockey God

        dry what would you like to know?

        I am stuck between a 39 foot and 40 foot, which is border line price break point on what they charge for slip. There are a number of yacht brokers in Newport. The marina we are looking at is behind the Cannary. They have a big yard there with wet and dry dock slips. We are trying to get a slip but there is a wait time, and there are several other marina’s in area with availability such as one by the Pavilion by Balboa Island. There are several others in area. They charge by footage of your boat and rates are different between sail boats and yatches. The Moana marina is full up to 100%. The former yard has their own bilge waste disposal stations which they charge a service fee. All the other services such as cleaning, barnacle removal, etc ; the marina has a list of qualified vendors. This particular marina has parking slots included right next to your slip. The slip is right on the shore so you don’t have to anchor in middle of bay and take a shuttle pod. We plan on living on the boat and walking to the many stores which are short distance away, including grocery store. They also charge $ 25 for electrical hook up per month, with some surcharge based upon boat footage. Some of the other marina’s have vendors that charge you to come to empty your bilge water.

        Don’t plan on going out fishing because I am not a good pilot, probably hire one which they have available so I don’t crash into other boats on in the bay. Need to buy some fenders because squalls are known to come in off the Pacific.

  6. Richard Santomauro

    Really? You think Petro is deserving all of this praise? NHL on Sirius XM didn’t think so in their broadcast today. That said at best Petro is a D2, definitely not D1 material.

    During the season, my regular nickname for #7 was “Putrid” because that is exactly what he was bringing to the ice each and every game. Besides TOI there wasn’t much else to cheer about at all. He was great passing the puck when not under pressure as well.

    He began picking up his play in the Colorado series and did well in the semifinals.

    For this article to declare Petro as the “real deal” and a “win” for the front office is a big stretch. If he can pick up where he left off next season and show some improvement then we can take another look at reevaluating him.

    He simply doesn’t deserve the heaping amount of praise in this article. He has a long way to go to earn it.

    • Mike StG

      Richard, you’re misrepresenting what was said on SiriusXMNHL today. That was Boomer Gordon talking about fantasy hockey. D1 being the players who would get you the most point values in fantasy. Boomer put Theo at #3 in his Dman rankings, because he shoots a ton of shots and thinks his PP point production will increase next year. By D2 he was talking about defensemen who aren’t in the top 16 of what he believes will be the best fantasy point producers, but in the next tier. This has no real relationship to actual hockey.

      Just keepin’ it real.

      • Richard Santomauro

        I must have heard it completely out of context. Still, Petro has a lot to do next season if he is going to live up to the mega-salary that he signed for.

        And his performance this season wasn’t even close.

  7. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    I’m confused on this “bad ice” issue.

    It was an excuse for what? Us losing?

    Just asking

  8. Richard Santomauro

    It’s a theory put forth by the hockey God!

  9. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    Nice writeup in the RJ sports section this morning (3rd).

    Capsule of every player, good read.

  10. Jason – math or ROI are apparently not your strong suit. If you truly believe what you wrote and think vegas got their money worth with Petra l have a bridge to no where to sell. No one knows why it was built but seemed like a good idea at the time kind of like the FO thinking on their last couple of deals – petro and the walrus. They certainly showed they are much h smarter money wise that the splash brothers.

  11. Tim

    Lets look at the Knights realistically. Next year the Pacific division is in a total rebuild which means we should win the division. The first two rounds played in our division I don’t see a team beating us 4 out of 7. Now in the third round we play the Central champion which could be Colorado, Minnesota, or Dallas and that’s where it gets dicey. I believe if DeBoer lays another egg he will be gone and maybe management too. So my logic tells me they will do everything they can to improve the team this summer. I don’t believe they’ll go after fringe players we have enough of those. To accomplish this and have cap space guys will have to go. One goalie for sure and since Lehner is DeBoers guy I’d say Fleury is traded. Next they would like to keep Martinez would he give Vegas a hometown discount if not he’s probably gone. It would be nice to shed the Reeves and Holden contract. Now the question none of us can answer is who else do they feel is expendable and of our prospects who do they feel can make the jump this coming year if any. Training camp will sort all that out. The main objective is finding some fire power and again there are 32 teams and who knows who they feel can fill that roll. Foley wanted to win a Cup in 5 years well here we are in year 5, I feel they’ll be more of a sense of urgency to get it right. Should be an interesting July.

    • Mike StG

      Tim,

      Couple of minor corrections:

      – Assuming Vegas finishes 1st in Pacific there’s no guarantee and perhaps it’s not even likely that they would play a Pacific opponent. The playoff format pre-Covid was the Central & Pac champs would play wild card teams. It’s very possible that both wild cards could end up from Central – probably 2 of COL, WPG, STL, MIN, ARI, NAS. Five of those teams made this year’s playoffs and only 3 top teams in each division are guaranteed to make the playoffs. FWIW, at this moment I think the top 3 Pacific teams will be VGK, EDM, LAK.

      – Foley didn’t say Cup in 5 years. He said playoffs in 3, cup in 6.

  12. Pauly, ARE YOU S-T-I-L-L HERE??
    YOUR DEROGATORY COMMENTS ARE IGNORANT AND UNWANTED.
    ARE YOU REALLY THAT MUCH OF A SLOW LEARNER???

  13. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    And you wonder why me and many other be leaving this place soon?

    Just look at the shit on here!

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