Kevin Shattenkirk’s name has once again entered the NHL movement cycle.
The enigmatic, 30-year-old defenceman had his name linked to being a prime buyout candidate by the New York Post’s Larry Brooks in a Saturday column.
The Rangers have made two trades this offseason and both were for right-hand defensemen who play the power play. So what does that tell you about Kevin Shattenkirk’s future on Broadway?
That, plus the cap fix into which management willingly leaped by signing Artemi Panarin and Jacob Trouba for a combined $19.654 million-plus, tells me Shattenkirk’s tenure as Blueshirt will be over by the close of the team’s second buyout window Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Shattenkirk is a right-shot, puck-moving defenceman who has been a consistent point producer from the back end through his nine-year NHL career.
He’s been a strong analytics player throughout his career with an ability to drive play from the back end.
Last season was arguably one of his worst in the league, posting 28 points in 73 games; but that’s well off from his average of 47 points per 82 games.
It rings more like an anomaly season than anything else.
As it stands, Shattenkirk has two years left one his contract with the Rangers that pays them $6.6-million a season. It was his first big payday, having been under contract with the Blues previously for $4.25-million.
The Rangers have a bit of a logjam on the backend, so it doesn’t surprise be they could be looking to move their second-largest defensive contract. The big problem that may turn them off is his cap hit in the second year of the buyout would be $6-million.
Nonetheless, there’s no doubt that Shattenkirk would step in and have an immediate impact on the OIlers back end.
The Oilers have sorely missed someone who can move the puck from the right side and it’s evident he’d slide into the top pairing on the team’s backend.
Edmonton only has $2.5-million in cap space, which I’m almost certain wouldn’t be enough to coerce a free agent Shattenkirk. And Edmonton would have few options for being able to clear the space needed to sign him for what I would assume would be $5-$6-million a year.
Trading Kris Russell pops out as the first, most likely option. But to make that happen, the Oilers would need to find a way to make the trade without bringing in any dollars, unless that is, you add in someone else like a Sam Gagner to clear more room in Edmonton.
I’ve written about Shattenkirk at OilersNation a few times in the past.
In Jan. 2017 I speculated about a potential deadline deal that February I shared a story about how the Oilers had a deal in place to trade Taylor Hall for Shattenkirk. Shattenkirk had vetoed the deal.
If the Oilers could make it happen, would you welcome Shattenkirk to town?