Alex Pietrangelo will not be reporting to training camp when it starts on Thursday, September 12th. The Blues officially announced that the defenseman will miss the start of training camp as contract negotiations between him and the team have broken off.
Is it time to start worrying?
Here's the exact quote from GM Doug Armstrong:
Talks between the Blues and Alex’s camp have broken off for now and Alex will not be reporting for our camp today.
While talks have broken off for now, they'll likely resume in the near future. However, you really have to wonder how far apart the sides are at this point. Most never thought negotiations would drag out this long in the first place and they appear to be making very little progress. It was believed that Pietrangelo's desired contract and the Blues offer might be as close as under a $1 million difference a year, but surely they would find a way to compromise over the last few months, right?
At the very least, Pietrangelo isn't winning over many fans by continuing this process. He has long played the role of innocent bystander in this situation, stating that his agent is handling the negotiations. While that may be partially true, Pietrangelo could have easily signed a contract at some point over the summer. It's his choice to wait for more money and now it's his choice to miss the start of camp.
A deal will get done. The only question is when. The Blues aren't in a position to shell out a bloated contract, but they are in a position to offer a large, yet fair contract. Pietrangelo deserves a big raise, but he's not looking good by holding out.
When will Pietrangelo sign? Hopefully sooner rather than later. It'd be crazy to think this whole saga might lead to a holdout during the regular season, but that's the very possible scenario fans are looking at.