Alex Pietrangelo is leaving St. Louis after agreeing to a $61.6 million, seven-year deal with Vegas. Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Alex Pietrangelo is Vegas bound, and the Golden Knights are shuffling the deck to fit him in.

Pietrangelo signed a $61.6 million, seven-year deal with Vegas on Monday that carries an $8.8 million annual salary cap hit through 2027. It’s the fifth-biggest cap hit for a defenseman in the NHL.

Adding the top free agent available gives Vegas another big-money talent, but the team needed to make another move to shed salary just to add him. Before registering Pietrangelo’s contract, the Golden Knights traded defenseman Nate Schmidt to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2022 third-round pick, clearing his $5.95 million cap hit off the books.

After already sending center Paul Stastny to Winnipeg, the team likely needs to make another move, such as trading goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, to be cap compliant when next season starts.

But Pietrangelo, who finished fourth in Norris Trophy voting and is one of the best right-shooting defensemen in the league, makes Vegas better.

The 30-year-old leaves the St. Louis Blues after serving as captain of their 2019 Stanley Cup championship team. Pietrangelo is coming off scoring a career-high 16 goals despite the season being cut short at 70 games.

Pietrangelo has 109 goals and 341 assists for 450 points in 758 regular-season NHL games. He had a postseason-best 16 assists and averaged almost 26 minutes of ice time during the Blues’ Cup run.

BLACKHAWKS: Chicago agreed to one-year contracts with Mattias Janmark and Lucas Wallmark on Monday, adding a pair of forwards to help make up for the loss of Brandon Saad.

Janmark’s contract carries a salary-cap hit of $2.25 million. Wallmark’s cap number is $950,000. Saad was traded to Colorado on Saturday, and the 27-year-old Janmark could step into his role on Chicago’s penalty-killing unit.

WILD: Minnesota re-signed goalie Kaapo Kahkonen to a two-year contract on Monday to avoid salary arbitration.

Kahkonen went 25-6-3 with a 2.07 goals-against average, a .927 save percentage and seven shutouts in 34 games for Iowa in the AHL this season, winning the league’s award for the most outstanding goaltender. Kahkonen, a fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft, went 3-1-1 in five starts for the Wild.

The 24-year-old gets a two-way deal for the 2020-21 season ($700,000 in the NHL and $250,000 in the AHL) and a one-way contract for 2021-22 at $750,000.

Last week, the Wild traded goalie Devan Dubnyk to San Jose and signed goalie Cam Talbot to a three-year, $11 million contract. Kahkonen will enter training camp behind Talbot and Alex Stalock on the depth chart.

RANGERS: Alexis Lafrenière isn’t going back to play junior hockey in Quebec, and the Rangers hope he’s on the ice in New York sooner than later.

The Rangers agreed to terms Monday with the No. 1 draft pick on his three-year, entry-level contract that includes the lucrative bonuses typical for a player selected in that spot. Lafrenière, as expected, won’t return to Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, which has started its season, and General Manager Jeff Gorton hopes to get him to the New York area by early November to begin training for next season.


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