Blues fans are breathing a sigh of relief today after the club announced they’ve inked blueliner Alex Pietrangelo to a seven year deal worth 45.5 million dollars. The deal works out to an annual cap hit of 6.5 million a season. That might seem like a princely price considering the trend among NHL teams to sign 2-year bridge contracts with burgeoning stars (P.K. Subban and Nazem Kadri are two recent examples). However, Pietrangelo has already proven himself beyond a doubt during his relatively short NHL tenure, and he will be a franchise player that the Blues can now build around over the next six seasons. At just 23 years of age this young man hasn’t even begun to hit his peak yet. There is more likely than not multiple Norris Trophies in his future, and if that happens no one is going to be questioning the wisdom of Blues’ management in locking up Pietrangelo for more than half a decade.