from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,
In a league where franchise defensemen are the gold standard, the St. Louis Blues have one of the NHL's most valuable assets in Alex Pietrangelo.
Pietrangelo turns 22 today. His elite performance forces opposing teams to account for him every time he is on the ice.
"The second half of last season, he played with a target," Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said of Pietrangelo, who wedged himself into Norris Trophy consideration by scoring 12 goals and 51 points. He played upwards of 25 minutes a night for a team that finished second overall in the league standings.
"Like a Nick Lidstrom, like a Ray Bourque, like Shea Weber, he's going to have that target now for the rest of his career so he's going to have to learn to protect himself," Armstrong said. "He's a player that when you play against the St. Louis Blues, he's circled.