Kevin Shattenkirk is a pending unrestricted free agent after this upcoming season with the St. Louis Blues, at which point the team will be unlikely to retain him on a new contract.
As a result, reports have been floating around that the Central Division club is looking to deal him this summer, rather than losing him for free in 2017.
The list of teams expected to be taking a look at acquiring the blue liner is extensive, as the free agent market for right-handed defensemen this summer is lacking a bit in appeal. One team not previously listed, though, has been added to the rumor mill as of Thursday evening:
It’s not altogether surprising to see the Coyotes looking at potentially acquiring Shattenkirk this offseason, as he fits a specific need the team has addressed already this summer. New general manager John Chayka started by adding veteran left-shot defenseman Alex Goligoski to the team’s corps earlier this June, but mentioned that the team wasn’t finished adding on the blue line – and that the right side was still a noticeable weakness, making Shattenkirk a good fit.
The Coyotes have two first round picks this summer, with the seventh overall pick of their own and the 20th overall pick from the New York Rangers (acquired for blue liner Keith Yandle at the 2015 trade deadline). Between that and a surplus of forward prospects in the system, the Pacific Division club has assets to move.
As a competing Western Conference team, though, the Blues may prefer to send Shattenkirk somewhere out east – so while this is a rumor to monitor, it may still fall short of coming into fruition before the draft.