The St. Louis Blues have a wallet that rarely opens. When it does, it never opens too wide. In recent years the team has been forced to play a minor role in free agency, limiting itself to contracts that range between just under $1 million and just over $4 million. The Blues will be forced to adopt a new policy in the very near future when Alex Pietrangeloís current contract expires.

Alex Pietrangeloís contract expires after the 2012-13 season. His current contract, an entry-level three-year deal that the team gave him prior to 2010-11, pays him a combined salary of roughly $3 million a year. This number isnít exact as his NHL salary checks in at under $1 million but bonuses push it back into the range mentioned.

At his current price Pietrangelo has been a huge bargain. He has blossomed into one of the best young defenseman in the NHL which will force the Blues to give him a hefty, competitive contract if they hope to keep him patrolling the blue line in St. Louis.

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