Done deal: Blues lock up Alex Pietrangelo for seven years

The drama is over. The Blues and Alex Pietrangelo have finally reached a deal. The team announced on Friday afternoon that the defenseman has signed a seven-year, $45.5 million contract. The deal will pay Pietrangelo $6.5 million a year. 

Widely considered to be one of the best defenders in the league, Pietrangelo will now be paid like one. 

As seen in the team's release, Doug Armstrong understands just how valuable Pietrangelo is to the Blues:

We’re excited to have Alex in the fold for the next seven years as he will continue to be a key component of our franchise. He is an elite defenseman in this league and will be for years to come.

That sums it up. Pietrangelo is one of the best young defenders in the NHL and the Blues had to dig deep in order to keep him in St. Louis. He'll have the highest average salary of any defenseman on the roster. 

After talks stalled some believed that a bridge deal might be a possibility in order to get Pietrangelo signed before the 2013-14 campaign starts. It would be a temporary solution to a long-term problem. Though it would mean we'd see Pietrangelo in the lineup, the defenseman's future would still be clouded in mystery. Thankfully, that's not what happened. 

Now that he has a new contract, Pietrangelo will report to camp and business will proceed as usual.