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By Jason Garrick
St. Louis Blues Writer
The NHL 2016-2017 offseason has gotten off to a torrid start. There was the PK Subban and Shea Weber trade which blew everyone away with the magnitude and names. You had the New Jersey Devils committing highway robbery on Edmonton by stealing Taylor Hall.
The St. Louis Blues, however, have yet to trade their All-Star D-Man Kevin Shattenkirk. One would ask why has there been no movement on a trade? The simple answer to that is the discrepancy in value. The Blues value Shatty at a high price while other teams, most notably Boston are gun-shy to pull the trigger on a trade that would cost so much. Then there is the issue of an extension; Shattenkirk is a free agent after the season ends and no team in their right minds would trade valuable assets for a rental.
There were rumblings that Edmonton was close to trading for the All – Star defenseman, a trade that would be comprised of Taylor Hall to St. Louis and Shatty going to Edmonton. So why did that not work? As stated before no team in their right mind would trade for a rental and apparently Edmonton had the appearance of smarts by not pulling the trigger since Shattenkirk it appears did not want to sign.
So what is the Value that Kevin Shattenkirk brings to a team? Let’s assume there is no issue regarding a long term commitment for the team that trades for him, is he worth it? Let’s find out. Kevin has a career +/- of 24 with 14 goals, 30 assists, and 44 points this season. Seems like pretty good numbers, yet when his playoff numbers are given a look, not as gleeful. Kevin had a career +/- of -11 in the playoffs. His postseason numbers for 2015-2016 are two goals, 11 points in 20 games. Those numbers seem solid yet his +/- for this post season is -14, a compound that with a high asking price and a lack of uncertainty regarding long-term commitment you have the current situation.
If you have a long-term deal in place and you trade for Kevin is it worth it? Getting past the +/- which is a bit hard to do, Kevin is a right handed offensive defenseman, which is a hot commodity in this year’s trade market, he’s also a power play specialist. He brings a lot to the table for a team, and the Blues are steadfast in their approach, and honestly, they are right to do so. He is a phenomenal talent that can do a great deal for a team, and as the old saying goes you need to spend money to make money, that statement is ever true in this circumstance.
So now there is one last question: what teams are desperate enough to take the price tag? Well, the teams that are being rumored are Boston, Detroit, New York, and Philadelphia. The reason would appear to be the Blues desire for him to be moved to the Eastern Conference and Shatty’s desire to go back or close to home. Kevin played his college hockey at Boston university, and he’s a native New Yorker, so it makes sense in some ways.
The price tag is going to be uncomfortable either way for any team that gets him; Kevin will undoubtedly want a big money contract and if a trade is to happen, a team will give up valuable assets. If you are a team that needs defensive improvement the price may be worth it, you would be acquiring a stud defenseman who could give you a threat from the back end and QB your Power Play.
The impact that Kevin will have on a team is more than significant. At this point, the Blues seem to be in no real rush to get rid of him nor should they be; it will be up to the teams that need a guy like him to put up or shut up and that is the reality.