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How the Leafs Can Land Alex Pietrangelo (it’s not what you think)

This isn’t about who they’d have to trade and what kind of contracts will be available to their RFAs and UFAs. That’s all just math and there are plenty of smart enough people in the org to figure that out.

We know what Pietrangelo is worth on the open market, which can be anywhere between $7-9 million, depending on term.

This stuff isn’t rocket science.

What’s critical, is figuring out how to get the deal done – both the logistics e.g. term and money – and what’s said in the negotiation.

If I were involved, here’s the approach I’d take:

  • First, ask Alex what kind of a deal he wants and why. It’s important to understand what’s really important to him and when people are asked, it’s often not what they first say. At this point maximizing money is great, and while adding another 60 million to 48 million+ in career earnings to this point is great, for most people it likely isn’t the priority. What can’t you buy right now?
  • Then, ask him his goals in terms of what level he wants to perform at over the next 7 years (or whatever term you’re willing to give) and what results. Don’t just accept general answers like, “At my highest potential,” but break it down based on points, minutes, contribution to wins, stylistically why he thinks he’s a fit, Stanley Cups, etc.
  • Outline how the Leafs can help him achieve his goals and in turn, achieve theirs.
  • Make an offer based on how this will allow the Leafs to help him achieve his goals, clearly outlining as such e.g. by signing for this amount, we can do this and this and this.

Again, this is just my approach and it’s not a guarantee that he’d sign, but what it does do is ensure that if the player does come, there are already expectations from both parties on what they both need to do to achieve their mutual goals, objective performance goals and they can start their relationship off on the right foot because both sides feel heard and valued.

P.S. So far, I think that all 4 major contracts signed by Dubas starting with Tavares were all lopsided toward the players. I believe if it happens again, the Leafs will be slamming their own window shut.

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