When center David Backes left St. Louis to sign a five year, $30MM contract with Boston at the beginning of the month, he vacated the captaincy for the Blues in the process. Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggests that defenseman Alex Pietrangelo may be ready to take over the role.
Pietrangelo has been a mainstay on the back end for St. Louis for the past six seasons and has been among their leaders in ice time and points from the blueline in each year. In 2015-16, he served as an alternate captain and played in 73 games with the Blues, picking up 37 points while averaging 26:18 of ice time per game, the sixth highest average in the league.
Blues GM Doug Armstrong had plenty of good things to say about Pietrangelo when it comes to his leadership:
“He was an assistant captain at a young age and he has leadership qualities that we’ve seen. As he gets more and more comfortable in the leadership role he’s certainly growing into an elite player that has a presence on the ice.”
If the Blues decide to go with more of a veteran as their next captain, Alex Steen, who has spent the last nine seasons with St. Louis, is the other likely candidate for the post.
More from the Western Conference:
- In an interview with Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province, Canucks center Bo Horvat acknowledged that the plan last season was for him to ease into a second line role. However, multiple injuries to Brandon Sutter thrusted Horvat into that role quicker than planned which played a part in his early-season struggles. While he finished strong last year (27 of his 40 points came in the second half), Horvat may be pencilled in behind Sutter and Henrik Sedin on the depth chart to start next season.
- Coyotes forward Max Domi is a big fan of Arizona’s additions this offseason, telling TSN.ca that their moves have been “amazing”. The Coyotes have added blueliners Alex Goligoski and Luke Schenn as well as winger Jamie McGinn in the last month. Domi was Arizona’s top point getter amongst their forwards last season as a rookie, collecting 18 goals and 34 assists in 81 games. The 21 year old also believes the Coyotes can take another step forward in 2016-17 and reach the playoffs for the first time since 2012.