It’s not the start to the 2013-14 season Blues’ fans wanted but it’s now reality.

Alex Pietrangelo was not among the players who reported to training camp Wednesday officially making the restricted free-agent defenseman a holdout and he will not be on the ice today for the first practice.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong was aware that Pietrangelo would be a no-show after talks with Pietrangelo’s agent Don Meehan “broke off” Tuesday night.

“We’ve worked in earnest with his representative trying to get him into training camp” Armstrong said. “We gave it a last-ditch kick at the can around 8 or 9 o’clock at night. It didn’t hold. So from this point forward he’s not in camp and we treat him like an injured player.

“Sidney Crosby missed a lot of time with concussions (and) the Penguins went on. That’s our job responsibility. If he misses a week a month a year we’re not really sure … but he’s not here now and we have to move forward.”

Meehan returned a message from the Post-Dispatch via email but wasn’t available for comment.

Pietrangelo 23 is believed to be seeking an extension that would pay him $7 million per season on a long-term deal. The Blues who have a shade over $7 million in salary-cap space for the 2013-14 season aren’t willing to pay more than $6 million annually.

“I’ll take Alex’s perspective … he thinks he’s made us a hell of an offer … I disagree” Armstrong said. “We think we’ve made him a hell of an offer … he’s disagreed. That’s where we’re at.”

Asked Wednesday how big the financial gap is between the sides Armstrong replied: “Big enough where he’s not in camp.”

Armstrong said that splitting the difference between the two offers as many have suggested is easier said than done.

“It’s not that easy because (the public) is not in the dynamics that got us to this point” Armstrong said. “There’s a lot of dynamics that go into these offers.”

The Blues and Meehan have discussed a short-term or “bridge” contract but have not found a common ground on that type of term either.

“We were more focused on a lengthier term recently” Armstrong said. “But now both sides need to go back to the drawing board and find out how do we get him in here.”

There’s been traction at certain points in the negotiation but nothing was considered even close until Tuesday.

“I’m sure Alex felt the same way I did” Armstrong said. “He was hoping that yesterday was going to be the day. I felt good that maybe yesterday was going to be the day that training camp has such great importance for a team that is trying to accomplish something special. But it wasn’t the day.”

Pietrangelo becomes the fourth player represented by Newport since 2011 to miss time while contract negotiations continued.

In 2011 Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty missed the bulk of the preseason schedule before signing an eight-year $56 million contract. Last season Montreal’s P.K. Subban sat out six games before inking a two-year $5.75 million bridge contract. Also last season Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly was out for 19 games before signing Calgary’s two-year $10 million offer sheet which the Avalanche matched.

Doughty Subban and Pietrangelo are each represented by Meehan. O’Reilly’s agent is Mark Guy who is employed by Newport.

Armstrong declined to read into the recent history between Newport and holdouts but earlier Wednesday said: “Alex has hired this group to negotiate for him but ultimately Alex Pietrangelo makes decisions for Alex Pietrangelo. I don’t make his decisions and Don Meehan doesn’t make his decisions. Alex Pietrangelo makes his own decisions. He’s a 23-year-old man and he makes his own decisions.”