Toronto Maple Leafs: Alex Pietrangelo trade rumours not going away

Alex Pietrangelo #27 of the St. Louis Blues battles against Kasperi Kapanen #24 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Alex Pietrangelo #27 of the St. Louis Blues battles against Kasperi Kapanen #24 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Blues continue to be interested in scouting the Toronto Maple Leafs but are they dangling Pietrangelo as a potential trade chip?

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been attached to Alex Pietrangelo‘s name for about a year when the St. Louis Blues were close to the bottom of the NHL standings.

Of course, that changed when the Blues made their unbelievable run to the Stanley Cup so why should we believe that the Leafs would be in the running for Pietrangelo again? Well, a recent report brought up the fact that general manager Dough Armstrong has been attending games which generally means he could be interested in making a deal.

The obvious challenge is that St. Louis is sitting atop the Central division so it wouldn’t make sense to trade your captain. At the same time, he is a pending free agent and it would be tough to let him walk for nothing.

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What doesn’t help the situation was trading for Justin Faulk and signing him to a six-year deal at $6.5 million cap hit. Sure, the team now has a backup plan if they can’t work out an extension with Pietrangelo but that isn’t the team’s intention either.

It was reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman back in October that the Blues wanted to get Pietrangelo signed at around $8.25 million but there was also the belief that he could get more than that if he went to free agency.

This is where the rumours don’t make too much sense at this point for the Leafs for a couple of reasons. When the team was initially interested in acquiring Pietrangelo, they didn’t know what the cap hits for Auston Matthews or Mitch Marner would be.

Regardless, the reported trade that apparently fell through would have involved William Nylander and it appears that Kyle Dubas wasn’t prepared to do that. You wonder if Armstrong is still looking to acquire Nylander to compensate for Vladimir Tarasenko‘s injury.

While Pietrangelo would fill an obvious need for the Leafs especially on the top pairing alongside Morgan Rielly, it would be tough to see the Leafs being able to afford him past this season. They would also have to make his current deal work with their salary cap and probably have to sweeten the pot with a prospect which and some believe that would have to be Timothy Liljegren.

Here is the problem. Why would Dubas trade a forward who has a reasonable cap hit and one of his top defensive prospects for a rental? Even by trading away Nylander’s salary the Leafs would have to do more to accommodate a possible extension.

At the same time, Toronto could look past Pietrangelo and make life a bit easier for Armstrong to keep his captain around and that’s s by looking to trade for Colton Parayko instead.

With two years left on his deal at $5 million per season, the Leafs would be better off going with the 26-year-old who is also a right-handed shot. You would feel better giving up Nylander and a prospect in that situation rather than for Pietrangelo who would probably be looking for a big contract at the end of the year.

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What are your thoughts on the constant rumours surrounding the Leafs and Blues? Would you like to see the Leafs try and get a defenceman from St. Louis and who would you like to get? Let us know in the comments below.