NHL Rumors: Latest Contract Buzz on Alex Pietrangelo, Anton Slepyshev

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IMarch 17, 2020

St. Louis Blues' Alex Pietrangelo in action during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The NHL announced on Thursday that its 2019-20 season has been suspended due to the continued spread of the coronavirus, but league news has not entirely ceased.

There have been rumblings that the Edmonton Oilers could reunite with their 2013 third-round pick, while the reigning champion St. Louis Blues will have to make a decision on captain Alex Pietrangelo.

Look closer at the latest on these two rumors below.


Could Anton Slepyshev Reunite with The Oilers?

According to Jim Matheson on Sunday, Edmonton and Slepyshev's agent, Dan Milstein, have discussed a one-year contract:

Jim Matheson @NHLbyMatty

Believe the Oilers have talked to Slepyshev's agent Dan Milstein about a one-year contract to return but, of course, it's a "for how much?" question. They certainly want him back but as a role player, third or fourth-line.

The Edmonton Journal's Bruce McCurdy wrote on Sunday that there are "whispers" that suggesting Slepyshev "may again be thinking of a return to the NHL":

"This is a player with enough natural talent to have been selected first overall in the KHL Draft, way back in 2011. He became eligible for the NHL Draft the following year, but was passed over entirely, reportedly because he was thought unlikely to ever cross the pond. But the following year, (former Oilers executive Craig) MacTavish used one of his passel of picks to roll the dice on the rangy Russian."

Slepyshev, who signed a two-year contract to play for CSKA Moscow of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League in May 2018, spent three seasons with the Oilers. The 25-year-old recorded 10 goals and 13 assists in 102 games from 2015-18.

The winger scored 18 goals and assisted 27 goals in 54 regular-season games this season for CSKA Moscow, according to the league's official website.


Could the Florida Panthers Land Alex Pietrangelo?

"There have been whispers of Florida taking a run at Pietrangelo," The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun wrote in late February, "although if the Panthers miss the playoffs after last summer's splash of activity, who knows what that means for this offseason."

LeBron also noted the defenseman's native Toronto Maple Leafs "would have to trade away a key piece up front to create cap space to even get into that Pietrangelo conversation," and he doesn't foresee that happening.

The Panthers signed goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to a seven-year, $70 million contract last July. They also added defenseman Anton Stralman, center Noel Acciari, winger Brett Connolly. Still, Florida are two points out of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference at 35-26-8 (78 points) with the league on hiatus.

The Athletic's Jeremy Rutherford projected what the Blues will do to prevent the Panthers—or anyone—from luring away Pietrangelo:

"I think the Blues are still going to try to pay Pietrangelo in the range of $8.5 million to $9 million. They're going to be squeezed as it is, trying to re-sign Pietrangelo, Vince Dunn and perhaps Marco Scandella. But even if there is some room, I don't see the Blues going higher than $9.5 million-plus AAV on Pietrangelo regardless of their cap situation."

Pietrangelo was drafted by St. Louis fourth overall in 2008. The 30-year-old signed a seven-year, $45.5 million contract with the Blues in 2013. That will expire following the current season, whenever and however it eventually ends.

This season, Pietrangelo has scored a career-high 16 goals to go with 36 assists in 70 games for the Western Conference-leading Blues (42-19-10). He secured his 400th career point in October:

St. Louis Blues @StLouisBlues

Alex Pietrangelo's 400th career point came at a pretty darn good time. #stlblues https://t.co/vns2eI1fY1

Pietrangelo was pivotal in the Blues' 2019 Stanley Cup run. He scored in the decisive Game 7 win over the Boston Bruins and recorded three goals with 16 assists in the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs.