Originally posted on Fox - The Hockey Guy  |  Last updated 6/20/12

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 18: Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on December 18, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Erik Karlsson’s seven-year, $45.5 million contract was good for him, good for the Ottawa Senators and very, very good for St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo among others.That contract extension kept Karlsson out of restricted free agency and reaffirmed the high market value for cornerstone offensive defensemen. Pietrangelo is very much in Karlsson’s class. Although Alex didn’t approached Karlsson’s 78-point production this season, he is an excellent all-around defensemen who will contend for the Norris Trophy for years to come.Blues fans want Tom Stillman’s new ownership group to spend big money on this team. Pietrangelo will give the franchise that opportunity as his restricted free agency nears next summer.General manager Doug Armstrong has more spending latitude this summer with Stillman at the helm, but he can look forward and see a LOT of future budget dollars going to Pietrangelo. The young man’s value will only rise, especially when Shea Weber and Ryan Suter sign new long-term deals in Nashville or wherever. For more on this topic, check out my story on STLToday.com.
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