Pietrangelo: 'So many unknowns' as UFA after NHL's pause

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St. Louis Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo admitted his status as one of the NHL's top unrestricted free agents this offseason has been complicated by the coronavirus stoppage.

"There are so many variables that you can bring into this that you don't really know," Pietrangelo told The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun. "There are so many unknowns. We were thinking about it for a while; my wife and I certainly had some discussions between us. But it certainly gets pushed aside when you’re sitting at home chasing around these little rug rats all day. I've got family members going through it right now - they're being laid off, they're not being able to work the same way they were a few months ago."

Pietrangelo's seven-year, $45.5-million contract is set to expire after the 2019-20 season, barring an extension. It's unclear if the NHL will be able to resume the current season, and it's also not clear when the free-agency period could begin and what the salary cap will be for the 2020-21 campaign.

On top of the league's uncertainties, the Blues' cap situation as they try to retain their leader is equally complicated. St. Louis has over $79 million committed to next year's roster against a salary cap that is unlikely to grow substantially from this season's $81.5-million limit.

Pietrangelo is poised for a considerable raise over his current $6.5-million cap hit, and general manager Doug Armstrong also needs to sign promising blue-liner Vince Dunn, a restricted free agent.

Pietrangelo was in the midst of a Norris Trophy-caliber season when the league shut down, posting 52 points in 70 games for the Central-leading Blues. Last postseason, the 30-year-old averaged over 25 minutes per game en route to claiming the Stanley Cup.

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Pietrangelo: 'So many unknowns' as UFA after NHL's pause
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