5. Kevin Shattenkirk
Right now, Kevin Shattenkirk is in his prime years as an NHL defenceman and he’ll be one of the biggest names on the market for unrestricted free agents. The only reason why I put him fifth on this list and not higher up is because of his price.
He’ll most likely be asking for at least a $5-million salary and I’m not sure if the Calgary Flames can quite afford that right now if they’re looking for a legitimate starting goaltender. And if Troy Brouwer doesn’t get picked up by Vegas in the expansion draft or they can’t trade him, then they’re stuck with that bad contract and they’re probably wary of getting stuck in another bad contract with a defenceman (cough cough Dennis Wideman cough cough).
That ended up being quite costly for the Capitals though because now, again, they lost in the second round of the playoffs. And they don’t have a draft selection at this year’s NHL draft until the fourth round from all the trades they’ve made.
"“We felt it was important to acquire another defenseman to strengthen and add depth to our blue line,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said in a statement. “Kevin is a skilled, puck moving defenseman who we think will help our team at even strength and on the power play.”"
But moving on to his stats, last season in his 61 games with the Blues, he had 11 goals and 42 points, but a mere -11 on his +/-. After being traded to the Caps, in his 19 regular season games with them, he had two goals and 14 points and +4. In the playoffs with the Caps, he had one goal, six points in 13 playoff games, but -4. His one goal was a game-winner in overtime against the champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He’s always gotten a decent amount of points in the playoffs with the Blues, of course they’ve never made it that far except for last season. He shoots right and is quite a speedy defenceman. Putting him with Brodie on that second pairing, or maybe even moving Giordano to the second pairing with Brodie and putting Shattenkirk on that pairing with Dougie Hamilton could both be options.
However, there are two problems the Flames face, one of which I’ve talked about already.
- He will be expensive and after the signings of Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, and with Giordano’s expensive contract as well, if the Flames want to sign a legitimately great starting goaltender, that’s some more money on their cap. They may not be able to afford a player like Shattenkirk. And also if they’ll still be stuck in this bad contract with Troy Brouwer.
- The second problem is that the Flames may need to wait until after the expansion draft to try and make a trade for him. If they trade for him ahead of time (aka in a mere hours since trade deadline is tomorrow at 3pm est or teams have to wait until draft day), then they run the risk of which three defencemen they’re going to protect between Giordano, Dougie, Brodie, and Shattenkirk.
Via the Bleacher Report:
"Rental player Kevin Shattenkirk, who came to the Caps from the St. Louis Blues at midseason, is among those most likely to leave via free agency. Stephen Whyno of the Washington Post has reported that the expansion Vegas Golden Knights hold some interest for Shattenkirk, and he tweeted that the defenseman’s departure would be good for the team since it would allow them to keep defenseman Nate Schmidt and possibly sign or trade backup goalie Philip Grubauer."
If Shattenkirk is a legitimate option for the Flames and they don’t mind spending that money on a top-four defenceman, then they’ll have to do it after the expansion draft, but at that point, it may be too late. If Shattenkirk is re-signed and left exposed, Vegas may not want to give him up.
But if everything goes right and if Vegas is looking to add some more draft picks this year and put Shattenkirk on the market, then he’s a great option to really solidify the blue line for the Flames and they have a real shot at the playoffs. But the reason that he’s fifth and not ahead on this list is because of the two reasons I mentioned.