Capitals go for broke to land Shattenkirk ahead of Rangers and Penguins

Shattenkirk (Getty)

Well it looks like the eventual Shattenkirk in a Rangers sweater will have to wait until July 1st to take place. Yesterday, the Capitals opted to mortgage their future to try and win the Cup that has eluded them and Alex Ovechkin for over a decade.

The Complex Deal

Everyone was trying to break this one down, but Elliotte Friedman did it best. (Chronological order is from bottom up)

Shattenkirk to Caps

So when you analyze the deal, the Caps give up 2 prospects, their first round pick this summer and possibly a 2nd round pick in 2019. That pick likely won’t come to fruition unless they get to the East Final because Shattenkirk is determined to hit the open market July 1st. The rest of the deal is a complex math problem to me.

Gorton Didn’t Blink

Let’s give Jeff Gorton credit for not caving in to St. Louis’ demands. I assure you Doug Armstrong went back to the Rangers to extract a better package knowing that Shattenkirk would have committed to a sign and trade with the Rangers. Gorton didn’t blink and opted to let this go and determine if this is the right fit come summer. The fact that a division rival improves for this season didn’t make him panic as he kept the long game in mind.

As I wrote recently, the Rangers held all the cards and St. Louis needed to get lucky and hope a team would throw caution into the wind for Shattenkirk. The Capitals were that team and it is understandable as to why. Ovechkin is 31 and Nicklas Backstrom turned 29 in November, both in the back end of their prime years.

What will be interesting is what Gorton will do between now and the deadline tomorrow. Does he makes some moves to solidify the defense? Improve the PP? Add size to the 4th line? If he opts not to do anything, does that mean he feels this Rangers team doesn’t need improving or that there isn’t a worthy improvement this year that could make a difference. Makes you wonder where he feels the Rangers are.

If that is the case, could we be seeing a few sell offs like Michael Grabner and Kevin Klein to contenders? I doubt it, but nothing is out of the realm of possibility with an expansion draft looming in June.

Or will we all sit with our jaws dropped if he pulls off a blockbuster with LA, or Anaheim. Does he stun as all with a Carolina deal for Justin Faulk?

God….I love the deadline.

One comment

  • Gorton will receive criticism from a portion of Ranger fans for not being in Shattenkirk. I still believe that he wouldn’t help the Rangers and would actually destroy this teams cap structure for nearly a decade. Brady Skjei’s emergence this season showed Gorton that they already have a smooth puck moving dman to go along with McD who can hold his own as well. For the last few weeks Shattenkirk has gone from a 2nd line dman to the next Paul Coffey in these comment sections. The Rangers need help defensive and Shattenkirk was never the answer to that problem. I would have liked to seen Cody Franson and Brendan Smith but am losing hope that happens with each ridicilous return for 3rd and 4th line players.

    Let’s not forget the Ranger right now are 6th in the league in points and are a formidable team as currently constructed. Before people give the Cup to the Caps because of this trade lets remember that their power play has always gone through Ovie, so getting Shattenkirk does nothing for their power play. Ovie plays nearly 2 minutes on the power play both on the point and by plotting himself at the left face off circle. That’s not changing with Shattenkirk. He is most likely going to be paired with Brooks Orpik and may lord, that’s is not a solid defensive zone pairing at all. The Caps have all the pressure on their shoulders going into these playoffs knowing that if they fail miserably again that roster will be blown up. We all know Caps + playoffs + pressure = early exit.

    On Grabner, I would hope they keep him for bottom six scoring depth even if they lose him after the season ends. All this team needed was tinkering and not a major overhaul. I’m extremely happy that Gorton didn’t budge an inch with the Shattenkirk situation. I was skeptical at the beginning of last off season but he has proven to this fan base he is an extremely shrewd tactician and doesn’t cave to public pressure.

We would love your thoughts! Comment Please!