Jay Bouwmeester, David Backes and Carlo Coliacovo were just a few of Pietrangelo’s former teammates who were inside T-Mobile Arena for the two-time Stanley Cup champion’s milestone night.
A video tribute included testimonials from Bouwmeester, Backes and former Blues coach Craig Berube. Vegas teammates Mark Stone and Alec Martinez, who skated in his 799th career game, also spoke on the video along with Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy.
Jayne Pietrangelo and their children closed the nearly three-minute video with touching celebratory wishes.
“You don’t get to this spot without a lot good of people along the way,” said Pietrangelo, whose played 758 games with St. Louis and 242 with the Golden Knights. “I love what I do, but I love the people, and you meet a lot of good people along the way. I don’t think you play in this career without those friendships. I don’t think I get to where I am without my wife and my kids ... and all the teammates and everybody that I’ve crossed paths with throughout the years.”
Pietrangelo, a three-time All-Star and three-time gold medalist for Team Canada, won the Stanley Cup with the Blues in 2019 and with the Golden Knights last season.
McCrimmon told The Associated Press before the game that when Pietrangelo signed with Vegas as a free agent before the 2020-21 season, he knew having a veteran No. 1 defenseman with impeccable credentials was a big step toward completing a Stanley Cup jigsaw puzzle.
“He came here to win and he’s a big part of the reason why we did,” said McCrimmon, who presented Pietrangelo with a gold hockey stick during the ceremony. “And on top of his abilities, he’s provided to our organization and our locker room in terms of leadership, has really exceeded our expectations. I’ve always said that Alex is way more than a hockey player. He’s a great friend for his teammates, he’s a great leader for them, they look up to him, he’s made them better."
Taken fourth overall by St. Louis in the 2008 NHL Draft, Pietrangelo became the 390th player all-time to reach 1,000 games.
“I think when you get further in your career, there’s not many individual milestones that you get to and this is a big one,” Pietrangelo said. “I keep getting reminded that not many people have done it in the history of the NHL, so I think (I’m) trying to enjoy it for what it is.”
He assisted on both first-period goals during Monday night's game against the Wild.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL