CALGARY – Alex Pietrangelo is doing his best not to let an unresolved contract situation distract him this week at Hockey Canada's orientation camp.
"I've just kind of been moving forward as if I'm going to start the season like a regular year," the St. Louis Blues defenceman, a restricted free agent, said following a walkthrough on Monday. "I've been working hard all summer [and I'm] trying to put it behind me here for this week and trying to enjoy this process and, you know, hopefully something gets done here in the short term."
Pietrangelo has spoken to Blues general manager Doug Armstrong during the camp, but the contract issue did not come up. Armstrong is part of the Team Canada management group.
"We're here to worry about the Olympics and Team Canada and if it comes up it does, but we're moving forward in that process and, like I said before, we're hoping it gets done," Pietrangelo said.
But as training camps grow closer the possibility of a hold out becomes greater. If Pietrangelo were to miss part of the season it could hurt his chances of making the Olympic team. "I'm not even thinking about holding out," the 23-year-old said. "I'm thinking about training camp and being there September 11th, 12th, whenever we're going to start up and be ready for the first game of the season."
So does that mean Pietrangelo is confident a deal will get done soon?
"I think you got to be. Both sides are pretty confident something is going to get done and I think, talking to [head coach Ken Hitchcock] and Doug, that's our mindset right now: hopefully something gets done."