Kevin Shattenkirk is one of the most highly-sought of the defensemen perceived to still be available on the trade market.
So where do things stand on that front as we near the NHL draft this weekend?
Let’s go straight to the source, in terms of the St. Louis Blues’ perspective.
Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch had this from general manager Doug Armstrong on Monday:
The Blues’ salary-cap issues, along with the fact that Shattenkirk has one year left on his contract before he becomes an unrestricted free agent, could lead to his departure. He has a $4.25 million average value, and could command $6 million-plus.
“He knows it, I know it, I don’t think either of us are naive,” Armstrong said. “I’d love to find a way to keep ‘Shatty’ here and we’re going to work toward seeing if there’s some common ground. But you just can’t keep everybody.”
There’s plenty of room in Armstrong’s comment to maneuver in heavy trade speculation, which is exactly what’s been happening this week.
Well, to be fair, Shattenkirk trade rumors have been a thing for quite awhile. But this may finally be the time when something actually happens, or it’s put to bed for awhile if an extension is reached with the Blues.
Darren Dreger, via Toronto’s TSN 1050, on Tuesday afternoon:
“Boston, I know, offered a draft pick, a first-round draft pick, for Kevin Shattenkirk. My understanding is that the Blues may want to take one more run at extending him. He has another year left on his contract. And if they’re unable to do that, then they’re going to start keenly listening to some of that interest. Boston is right up there. The Edmonton Oilers would love to get their hands on Kevin Shattenkirk.
“I know the Toronto Maple Leafs feel like they need another top-4 d-man. They’d prefer a 3-2 guy, but top-4 is fine. I believe that Toronto is going to be creative in how they acquire that defensemen. So I’m sure that they’ve scoured the league to look for a misfit type of player, a guy who might be undervalued in his current organization that just needs a fresh start. Or they may look at free agency.
“So Lou Lamoriello and the management team in Toronto are going to look at all options, and I’m sure Shattenkirk is on that list.”
Darren Dreger, via Montreal’s TSN 690, on Tuesday morning:
On if the St. Louis Blues will really move Kevin Shattenkirk:
“Well, that’s again the word from clubs around the NHL who have interest in Kevin Shattenkirk. I mean, in a perfect world, the Blues would sign Shattenkirk. He’s got one more year, and then he’s an unrestricted free agent. And that’s problematic. And when you look at the salary cap structure of the St. Louis Blues, it’s going to be a tough maneuver for them to get that done. There have been ongoing negotiations, but I wouldn’t deem them as being progressive from St. Louis’s perspective. There are some who don’t think they’re going to have any luck getting them signed.
“So if you’re in that predicament, if you’re Doug Armstrong, then there are a couple of trigger points. One is the weekend that we’re approaching, the draft, where there’s flexibility and a willingness among the clubs to maybe give up a bit more in assets to acquire players. We’ve seen that in the past. And then the other, obviously, is the trade deadline or around July 1.
“So there’s no urgency from Armstrong’s perspective. But the appetite is strong. The Boston Bruins want Shattenkirk. The Edmonton Oilers would like Kevin Shattenkirk. So now you’ve got two bidders against one another, and I’m sure there’s a lot more teams interested than that.”
Pierre LeBrun, via Vancouver’s TSN 1040, on Monday afternoon:
“There are calls right now coming in on St. Louis on Kevin Shattenkirk, who has a year left on his deal. Can the Blues sign him to an extension, or do they have to move him. They’re pretty deep on defense, especially with the advent of Parayko this year behind Pietrangelo and Bouwmeester. The Blues are in a pretty good position of strength to probably move Shattenkirk, if they want, in an offseason in which there are a lot of teams looking for D.
“Think of the Boston Bruins. Think of the Edmonton Oilers. Those among the teams that have already spoken to St. Louis here of late regarding Kevin Shattenkirk.”
LeBrun also wrote this for his Monday afternoon Rumblings blog:
The Boston Bruins have an obvious need on defense, so it’s no surprise to hear via sources that they’ve been in discussions on several fronts regarding acquiring a blueliner. Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, entering the final season of his contract, is among the several D-men I suspect the Bruins have had discussions about.
Nichols’ Notes runs weekdays, linking you to stories of interest from around the NHL.