Con: Potential decline for Pietrangelo
We already know that the salary is a concern for the Leafs and they might put themselves in a situation where they will need to sort out Morgan Rielly’s contract situation.
Pietrangelo turned 30 this year which means that there is an obvious risk involved with handing him a deal that pays him until he is 37 especially at a hefty cap hit. This is something that has the San Jose Sharks in a tough situation after handing Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns long term deals.
Karlson is making $11,5 million until the 2026-27 season while Burns is getting $8 million until he is 40. Pietrangelo is still a top defender and a proven difference-maker on his team so to say he will fall victim to being on the wrong side of 30 would be premature but not something that can be ignored.
Considering the majority of the Leafs core is under the age of 25, there is the concern of how Pietrangelo would age with this core. The team also had to deal with moving a player they deemed to be over the hill in Patrick Marleau and they had to include a first-round pick to trade his contract.
Instead, they could consider looking at some younger options that align more with the core or provide an opportunity for Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin to prove what they can do.