Kevin Shattenkirk is poised to have a big year with the St. Louis Blues. Argue all you want about what happened in the summer, but this could really help the team.
Kevin Shattenkirk was ready to leave the St. Louis Blues. He all but had his bags packed to move to a different city.
Shattenkirk was almost sure he was going to be dealt over the summer. Though it was not something he wanted, he still expected it, especially leading up to the NHL Draft.
“It was one of those years. In years past watching the draft, you see whenever Gary walks up to the stage to announce a trade, you kind of just wait to hear who it’s going to be,” Shattenkirk said. “This year was a little more nerve-wracking. It was a time where I think it was a big focus. For me, it was a new experience to kind of have to go through that, but in that respect, nothing happened and it was a day that once it was over, I got to put it behind me.”
As he said, the call or the announcement from the commissioner never came. Now, the Blues are planning on having Shattenkirk until at least the trade deadline, unless someone absolutely wows them.
The Blues used this same tactic last season and it worked out well. David Backes and Troy Brouwer were both on ending contracts and instead of shipping them out, they ended up being some of the team’s biggest playoff contributors.
Shattenkirk has the opportunity to do the same this season and he is ready.
Even missing 12 games in 2015-16, he still managed 14 goals and 44 points. Imagine what he might be capable of if he stays healthy the entire season and is on a contract year.
Shattenkirk looks to be in amazing shape. This is not meant as a knock, but the last year or two he never looked out of shape, but appeared a little frumpy. He was a little rounder in the face.
This year, he looks chiseled. He looks ready to take on the challenge of another Cup run.
That can only benefit the Blues. They are attempting to switch their style to a quicker pace and Shattenkirk’s game will be at the forefront of that change. It’s already helped him as he scored two goals to open up the preseason.
Now, fans are still divided into two main groups. One who wants them to deal Shattenkirk away, because they know his re-signing is very improbable. The other wants the Blues to keep Shattenkirk and do everything possible to trade Jay Bouwmeester.
Both options are somewhat short-sighted. In the end, the Blues might be smarter to hold on to Shattenkirk the entire year and see how things play out.
More from Editorials
- St. Louis Blues Need Kasperi Kapanen To Be On Best Behavior
- Hayes’ Debut And Other Bold Predictions for the St. Louis Blues
- St. Louis Blues Captaincy Is Suddenly A Huge Problem For 2023-24
- St. Louis Blues National Games Cause More Problems Than They’re Worth
- St. Louis Blues Brayden Schenn Has To Be An Impact Player In 2023-24
This is not the popular opinion, but the market for Shattenkirk has fluctuated wildly. There are still several teams in need of a defenseman, but with the Winnipeg Jets dangling Jacob Trouba, the Shattenkirk contract doesn’t seem as appealing since Trouba still has restricted free agent status.
People wanting him to stay will point to his desire to stay, perhaps taking a home-town discount.
“[St. Louis is] a place that’s embraced me and I couldn’t be happier about that,” said Shattenkirk. “That’s something you can’t lose sight of. Not many places are going to be as great than the one you’re in. The grass isn’t always as greener. It’s a cliché, but it kind of fits in this sense. Don’t just leave to leave, make sure that it’s a good fit for you. St. Louis has been a great fit ever since I stepped foot here.”
The problem there is still the money. Whether the Blues get rid of Bouwmeester or he ends up in Vegas, they are still going to have to pay Colton Parayko soon.
Do fans want the Blues in the same situation in a year or two? Do you really want a team to spend close to $19 million (give or take) on three defensemen (Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk and Parayko)?
Nobody wants those guys to leave. It’s an awful feeling to think a person really loves the area so much but would have to leave for economic reasons.
I don’t want him gone. I just see problems with that much money being spent on the back end when scoring is at a premium in today’s game.
Regardless of how it turns out in the long haul, the Blues are going to get Shattenkirk’s best for at least one more season. That’s enough for right now.
If healthy, he’s one of the more dangerous powerplay pieces in the league.
St. Louis is going to reap the benefits of another player in a contract year. Whether they make a deal or not remains to be seen. If things work out with this contract year the way they did for others last year, then fans are in for a fun ride.