Much has been said about the Stanley Cup-winning Golden Knights’ defensive unit. Throughout the 82-game regular season, four playoff rounds, and five finals games, VGK’s blue line was a major reason for the team’s championship run. In fact, Vegas’ defensive wealth compares to past Stanley Cup winners. Each team over the past dozen or so years has had one of the league’s elite defensemen anchoring their backend. The Golden Knights were blessed with one D-man that will be etched into silver twice.
You simply don’t win a Stanley Cup without an elite top-pair defenceman:
— Drew Livingstone (@ProducerDrew_) June 14, 2023
After the Golden Knights were eliminated by the Dallas Stars in the 2020 Western Conference Finals, the organization made a bevy of transactions. Center Paul Stastny and defenseman Nate Schmidt were jettisoned for cap room making way for one of the worst-kept secrets in team history. While the moves felt controversial at the time, the front office arguably overbid but got their man. Without publicly acknowledging it, Vegas’ front office successfully ripped Pietrangelo from the heart of the St. Louis Blues organization. It’s not a coincidence that the Blues have only one playoff series win since losing their former captain.
He was the captain of the team and been a real good player for a number of years for the Blues, won a Cup and he was a big part of it for sure. But that’s the game and people move on. -Craig Berube, STL November, 2020