Kevin Shattenkirk will take less to play for Rangers
For the last month or so since the New York Rangers were eliminated from the playoffs, speculation has run rampant on social media and in the press on which players may be coming or leaving. For the first time in 17 years, there will be an expansion draft this June which further complicates the offseason for almost every team. Before the results of the expansion draft are announced on June 21 at the NHL awards ceremony, side deals will be talked about and consummated. Will the Rangers be involved in any side deals with Vegas? Can Jeff Gorton trade Kevin Klein and Dan Girardi? Could he possibly trade Marc Staal? All of this will be answered in the coming weeks.
Names of possible acquisitions like Jacob Trouba, Tyson Barrie, Justin Faulk, Dougie Hamilton, and even Nathan McKinnon are all out there. But per sources, Kevin Shattenkirk is almost a lock to be here.
It is widely known that Shattenkirk grew up a die hard Ranger fan from New Rochelle. He is also a huge NY Giants fan. Every hockey reporter from Vancouver to Tampa thinks he will wind up on Broadway so I know I am not breaking any new ground with what I’ve learned. Heck, the Rangers biggest need is a right handed defensemen. One that skates well and has a fine offensive game are huge pluses. The Rangers are emphasizing quick puck movement and defense that can join the rush and skate well enough to get back on defense. To be sure, Shattenkirk is not a defensive stalwart in his own zone. But on most nights he is way better than many of the players most fans want to buy out at all costs. I have a very reliable source that tells me Rangers GM Jeff Gorton hates the idea of buyouts. He feels the long term dead money is not worth the short term gain.
In order to get Shattenkirk as a free agent, all Gorton has to do is move Klein and Girardi. Which actually, shouldn’t be that difficult. Once the expansion draft takes place, teams will be seeking defensemen. Many will be lost in that draft. A guy like Klein, with one year left on his deal, will be easy to move. With Girardi, it will be a little trickier since there are 15 teams he can be traded to without permission. Then Gorton has to make the best deal possible for the Rangers. Does he include picks or prospects to “bribe” a team to take him, like the Blackhawks have done in past years? Does he have to take a contract back? Can he trade him for an injured player such as David Clarkson?
Once the smoke clears it will be just a matter of time before the Rangers and Shattenkirk meet. He badly wants to play a top 2 pair role with the Blueshirts. How badly? Sources close to the Shattenkirk family say he would take less than market value to sign here.
This news shouldn’t come as a surprise from a guy who’s Twitter bio reads “New Yorker at heart” and spends summers out in the Hamptons. It does also shine a light on how much of a great match this is. In the NHL, unlike other sports, players frequently take less money to play for a more desirable team. Brad Richards left money on the table when choosing the Rangers over Calgary and Toronto.
The Stanley Cup Final has been decided and it will trigger a chain reaction of events that will spur what promises to be a huge swap meet of players. It sure seems that the wedding of Shattenkirk and Broadway will happen in just a matter of time.