The Blues and Rangers are in a showdown over Shattenkirk, who blinks first?

Shattenkirk(Getty)

The trade deadline is just days away and this weekend the buzz around Shattenkirk coming to the Rangers is at an all time high. Hockey insiders have been discussing both parties in the same sentence and basically calling it the inevitable. Will it happen?

The Latest

Here’s what we know…Kevin Shattenkirk has nixed two deals we know of and Bob McKenzie stated there was a third. One during the summer that would’ve sent him to Edmonton and another 6 weeks ago to Tampa Bay. In both cases, Shattenkirk would not commit to signing an extension. The recent one with Tampa is even more intriguing because it was a sign and trade where he would’ve earned a $42M contract.

Now we learned that Toronto has eyes on him and wants to give him a lucrative long term contract. His response to that information was vague at best.

“I don’t know, that is another situation that could come up,” Shattenkirk said of the long-term contract. “Really I’ve just been taking it on a day-by-day approach. Today, it’s focusing on the game (Sunday) against Chicago and if a phone call comes in, then you have to deal with that as it comes. But you really never know how you’re going to feel about a place or what you’re going to want to do until the opportunity presents itself.” –Stl Dispatch

All this points to what FullTiltNYR learned in the summer, Shattenkirk wants to fulfill his childhood dream and play for the Rangers. He and his agent have been in essence positioning themselves for this scenario.

Dream to Reality?

The believed rental price is a first round pick and a prospect. St. Louis wants more but that would require them to pull off a sign and trade before the deadline and that is looking unlikely.

Bob McKenzie, hockey’s top insider recently speculated the following on twitter (read from bottom up):

McKenzie (Twitter)

Elliotte Friedman then said last night on HNIC the following about the nixed deal to Tampa:

There were some people last night who were speculating that Shattenkirk said no because it wasn’t enough. I think it’s because – and I’ve written this and said this – there’s a theory out there that he wants to play for the Rangers. He’s a Connecticut guy. He wants to go back up there. And that the Rangers are his No. 1 choice and the Bruins are his No. 2 choice, with the Rangers really being the team he wants to go to. – FanRagSports

The Showdown

Shattenkirk (getty)

If Shattenkirk is hellbent on making his childhood dream come true then he’s handcuffed the Blues GM, Doug Armstrong. The Blues have lost both David Backes and Troy Brouwer for nothing last season and face the real possibility of losing Shattenkirk as well. That is not good asset management so Armstrong has to get something for his stud blue-liner.

Rangers GM, Jeff Gorton could easily cave and give up a 1st round pick, and a prospect for Shattenkirk, but why do that if you know you hold all the cards. As the deadline draws near these two general managers are in a showdown, playing a game of chicken to see who blinks first.

In Armstrong’s favor is that there could be a team contending for the Cup that will fork over a 1st and prospect without any certainty that Shattenkirk will sign before UFA status kicks in. The likelihood though is slim because if that team were to give up that much, not win, and lose Shattenkirk in the summer….it would look pretty bad to their fans and that GM’s boss.

Which brings us back to Gorton who does have a plethora of young forwards he could move to St. Louis. Players like Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast come to mind right away because of how deep they are up front. Maybe adding a mid level prospect and a 2nd or 3rd round pick makes both parties happy. Kevin Klein could also be made expendable in the right deal. If Gorton could pull that off, it would be a big win for the Rangers and they wouldn’t have to sign Shattenkirk until after the expansion draft on June 21st.

Who Will Blink First

At this point it appears Armstrong will blink first and deal Shattenkirk to the Rangers for a reasonable package. Should another team throw caution into the wind for a chance at the Cup and give them their rental price demands, so be it. That means Armstrong stood strong and got lucky.

No matter what, as long as Gorton doesn’t cave he wins. He could let this go and sign Shattenkirk for free this summer. Gorton simply needs to read the cards on the table and play his hand accordingly. Shattenkirk wants to play for the Rangers, or at least have the opportunity to work out a deal with them this summer. If it wasn’t his ultimate goal, he would’ve already worked out a sign and trade with another team.

For now, the game of chicken is in full force…who blinks first? My money is on Armstrong because losing a third player for nothing to free agency is career suicide.

Share your thoughts below.

 

9 comments

  • The Rangers can’t give up players for a rental. This has not worked for how many years now. The only one that almost brought us the cup was St. Louis but that was the exception. If you check Ranger history it is just not worth the gamble. If Shatty wants to come it should be a sign and trade but not more than 3yr 12 mil that’s it.

    • Shatty would never sign a 3 year deal.

    • Dave, the price of a rental is much cheaper than a sign a trade. And I don ot believe Shattenkirk will take over a million dollar pay cut in his last big money contract. Regardless if it’s from his favorite team growing up.

      I do not understand fans, not saying you Dave, who complain about Staal and Girardi’s contract yet want to give up the farm and kill and cap structure this team is trying to build. Girardi and Staal got their contracts at 29 and 28 respectively, Shattenkirk is 28 now. This team cannot, CANNOT afford another long term disaster of a contract. And let’s not forget, fans want a buyout which adds dead money to the cap for 6 more years. This is not common sense.

      Have we not learned one lesson about giving long term big money to players who aren’t worth what they are asking for? Shattenkirk is looking for a 6 yr deal starting, STARTING, at 42 million total. Here is a list of dmen making at least 7 million per year, PK Subban, Shea Weber, Dustin Byfuglien, Ryan Suter, Kris LeTang, Dion Phanuef and Drew Doughty. Other than Phanuef, Shattenkirk isn’t close to the level of play of the others listed. Can anyone honestly say he’s a better player than these dmen who make less than 7 million per, Brent Seabrook, Mark Giordano, Alex Pietrangelo, Erik Karlsson or Brent Burns. He’s not even close to their level.

      I will bring up again what Darren Dreger said about Shattenkirk;

      Here’s the deal with Shattenkirk:

      He’s a very good NHL defender, but the next contract he gets is going to be for what he’s done, and not for what he’s going to provide.

      You can’t pay a guy $7M per year long term when he’s going to decline and eventually hamstring the salary cap for whoever he signs with.

      ….. dealing assets for Shattenkirk and spending that kind of money long-term on someone who won’t fulfill expectations is a disastrous move.

      If it was a team-friendly contract, say, under six million per season for around five years, then it’s easier to do. Unfortunately, that’s not realistic.

      Aside from his massive payday that’s inevitable, Shattenkirk is going to be extremely expensive to acquire.

      IT’S DUSASTROUS!!! His words, STAY AWAY. If they do sign him this deal will kill this teams cap structure for a decade.

  • With Fast and Lindberg clicking and looking like top 6 forwards on the 4th line, they better not deal either one. Just look at the quality of goals Lindberg has been scoring from the feeds of Fast lately. At a time when people like “hit em with your purse Stepan” again looks lost or disinterested. Lindberg has been patient with the revolving door on the roster and to deal him to St. Louis would be an ultimate slap in the face to a kid that has proven he belongs. Send Pirri instead. I’d be a happy fan to learn that they traded Stepan for Capt Kirk straight up. I don’t care if it’s a D for a center.

  • Gorton is in a tough spot, he needs a right handed dman for the top pair, whether that be in the offseason or deadline. Personally I prefer a younger cost controlled but thats going to cost a player most dont want to move. Shatty will cost a first and a prospect or just money. Whats best for the Rangers, everyone has their opinion but Gorton and Sather (if the boss says I want him make it happen then Gorton will).

    If they are going to get him in the offseason, then Im all for getting him now. Id much rather they see if he fits and is worth the money before just offering money. I know some say hes a second pair guy (Ive said he might be cause thats all hes played) but if Yzerman offered a 7 year 6 mil, maybe he is worth it. I highly doubt they dont have a plan to fit him, as well as, a top dollar they would offer him.

    I love this time of year.

  • How about trading Stepan and Staal for Shatty?? It makes totally sense for them..one they get a top line center to replace Backes and replace Shatty with Staal. Both are lefty defensemen and Staal has another 3-4 seasons left on his contract and we can move Lindberg and Hayes up and bring up a youngster just for the time being or trade for Boyle who knows our system and can center our 4th line. and maybe send Girardi to Buffalo for Franson if hes asked to waive his no trade clause. Those 2 trades would certainly help our blueline and definitely help our defense immensely!!

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