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Kevin Shattenkirk Could Be Old Man Out on ?New Youth Rangers? Blue Line


Phil

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With approximately $19 million in cap space to work with to sign free agents ? both restricted and unrestricted this July ? it?s fair to question the merit of a buyout given the fact that one performed this summer would result in four years of dead cap on the Rangers? tab. But it?s also undeniable that the addition of Trouba has further complicated the blue line log jam the Blueshirts were already pressured by even before he arrived.

 

Despite Neal Pionk heading to Winnipeg as part of the Trouba trade, the right side of the Rangers? defense is still untenably crowded. Trouba, Fox, and Tony DeAngelo are expected to slot in on that front, perhaps in that exact order, leaving no room at the inn for the $6.5 million dollar spare in Shattenkirk.

 

Something has to give.

 

Despite all of this, Shattenkirk is still a valuable NHL player, albeit one with cap- and injury-fueled issues in New York. When healthy ? granted, a significant caveat ? he is still a positive factor in moving the puck up the ice, which is still the primary function of a successful defender in today?s NHL. All of which makes the suggestion that not a single NHL team ? even those tripping over themselves to acquire inferior players like Nikita Zaitsev, Zach Bogosian, or Rasmus Ristolainen ? have any interest at all perplexing.

 

Are we really to believe that the Tampa Bay Lightning ? who were rumored to be courting Erik Karlsson despite their imposing cap crunch ? would have no interest in Shattenkirk as a consolation prize? The same Lightning who were prepared to offer Shattenkirk a seven-year, $42 million extension upon acquiring him in 2017?

 

With Tampa, the cap issue isn?t an insignificant factor, but there?s little stopping New York from getting creative to make it work should interest pique.

 

What about the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are probably going to continue to hunt for a right-side defender? Zaitsev has requested a trade, and both Ron Hainsey and Jake Gardiner are free agents. Gardiner plays the left, but the cumulative loss of all three would put a serious strain on the ability of their blue line to move the puck next season.

 

Like the Lightning, the Leafs are up against the cap in a bad way, with major decisions to make on Mitch Marner & co. up front. Shattenkirk at half the price could be workable, especially since they?ll find few right-handed puck movers with his skill for less.

 

Frankly, at a much more manageable cap hit of $3.325 million for the next two years, there simply cannot be a single NHL team uninterested in a pissed off and motivated Shattenkirk.

 

https://www.blueshirtbanter.com/2019/6/20/18688910/kevin-shattenkirk-could-be-old-man-out-on-new-youth-rangers-blue-line-trade-deadline

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If he only had one more year left on his deal I could see a team taking a chance on him but I really can't see anyone taking on that cap hit for two more seasons.

 

we can't take back Zaitsev (unless they also take another one of our bad D contracts, Staal or Smith but why would they do that?) as he has WAY too long left on his deal for it to make sense for us.

 

Tampa is already going to have cap issues and they still have to sign Point and Vasilevsky only has one more year left on a cheap deal. Maybe if we took Callahan's contract it could work but I don't think any of use want that, even if it is just one more year.

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I find the desperation to get rid of Shattenkirk a bit perplexing, but it's more understandable with Trouba signed.

He definitely has value when healthy, and I don't buy the Brooks narrative that there are no takers with salary retained.

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If he only had one more year left on his deal I could see a team taking a chance on him but I really can't see anyone taking on that cap hit for two more seasons.

 

we can't take back Zaitsev (unless they also take another one of our bad D contracts, Staal or Smith but why would they do that?) as he has WAY too long left on his deal for it to make sense for us.

 

That's not what I was suggesting. They're going to move Zaitsev in a separate deal. Vancouver is rumored to be after him. Once he's gone, they already need help on the right, which is why a half-priced Shattenkirk might be attractive.

 

Tampa is already going to have cap issues and they still have to sign Point and Vasilevsky only has one more year left on a cheap deal. Maybe if we took Callahan's contract it could work but I don't think any of use want that, even if it is just one more year.

 

They have options here, too. Killorn? Tyler Johnson? Third team?

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I find the desperation to get rid of Shattenkirk a bit perplexing, but it's more understandable with Trouba signed.

He definitely has value when healthy, and I don't buy the Brooks narrative that there are no takers with salary retained.

 

Yeah, it's insane, the idea that there isn't a single NHL team interested. That just can't be possible. Look at all the movement going on with right-side D right now. Shattenkirk is persona non grata but Justin Braun and Matt Niskanen have value? Zaitsev? Guys with like five- or six-plus years left at equal cost are good, but Shattenkirk retained for just two years isn't? It makes no sense.

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That's not what I was suggesting. They're going to move Zaitsev in a separate deal. Vancouver is rumored to be after him. Once he's gone, they already need help on the right, which is why a half-priced Shattenkirk might be attractive.

 

 

 

They have options here, too. Killorn? Tyler Johnson? Third team?

 

do you mean Killorn and Johnson coming back our way? I'm not sure what we give up in addition to Shattenkirk to get either of them.

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I think he'll be traded. I don't think he'll be bought out. If they can't find a partner, he could be a useful piece.

 

Smith, on the other hand, is out. He's not good enough to play D. Too expensive to keep around as a 4th liner. I believe he's the buyout candidate.

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What if the plan is to have Fox in the AHL until later in the year and Shattenkirk stays. Maybe Shattenkirk plays his value up, gets traded at the deadline. I believe the cutoff for that conditional pick going from a 3rd to a 2nd was 30 games for Fox right? Just saying. I realize they paid for him, but maybe the price was paid to start getting him exposure to the professional game in the A the first half+ of the year. Of course, if he plays lights out in the preseason and forces their hand, then hey...the conditional pick doesn't matter and you play him.
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What if the plan is to have Fox in the AHL until later in the year and Shattenkirk stays. Maybe Shattenkirk plays his value up, gets traded at the deadline. I believe the cutoff for that conditional pick going from a 3rd to a 2nd was 30 games for Fox right? Just saying. I realize they paid for him, but maybe the price was paid to start getting him exposure to the professional game in the A the first half+ of the year. Of course, if he plays lights out in the preseason and forces their hand, then hey...the conditional pick doesn't matter and you play him.

 

I speak to this directly in the article:

 

"For the “keep him and build up his value” crowd, ask yourself this: how could that reasonably be accomplished if this time around the power play displacement were made permanent? It’s going to be awfully hard to pick up points with little to no power special teams time and third-pairing duties which will limit, if not eliminate entirely, whatever trade market one would hope to garner for him down the line."

 

If Fox is ready, all this accomplishes is wasting time on his entry-level deal. It's lose-lose.

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Yeah, it's insane, the idea that there isn't a single NHL team interested. That just can't be possible. Look at all the movement going on with right-side D right now. Shattenkirk is persona non grata but Justin Braun and Matt Niskanen have value? Zaitsev? Guys with like five- or six-plus years left at equal cost are good, but Shattenkirk retained for just two years isn't? It makes no sense.

Of course it can be possible. The entire market for Shatty is teams who are playoff contenders and have a need for a right-shot, PPQB. Otherwise, it's cap problem for cap problem, and there's no reason for NYR to do that.

 

If Minny wasn't interested after Dumba went down last year, it shouldn't be surprising that there is no interest now. Shattenkirk is a bad player with a big contract. He's not worth $3m, let alone $6. The idea that he has value on the trade market is based on the idea that he's a good player, but he hasn't been that since...2015.

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Didnt you write this same thing earlier this season, indicating Pionk was the man, rendering Shattenkirk irrelevant?

 

Not that I can recall. The only two I can think of are the piece in early October talking about Pionk's early development, or the one about Shattenkirk being at a crossroads.

 

You are probably inferring from the second, I think, because it was written at the height of Pionk's power play run as QB and I talked about how Quinn and the Staff were unlikely to change things if it kept up.

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I speak to this directly in the article:

 

"For the “keep him and build up his value” crowd, ask yourself this: how could that reasonably be accomplished if this time around the power play displacement were made permanent? It’s going to be awfully hard to pick up points with little to no power special teams time and third-pairing duties which will limit, if not eliminate entirely, whatever trade market one would hope to garner for him down the line."

 

If Fox is ready, all this accomplishes is wasting time on his entry-level deal. It's lose-lose.

 

I wouldn't personally put money on Shattenkirk building up his value. I was just suggesting the Rangers may perhaps view it this way. I do question whether Fox is actually ready though. We are being forcefed this narrative that he will seamlessly move from college to the NHL, and we have seen multiple instances in the past where this just isn't the case.

 

If Shattenkirk eats crap minutes on the 3rd pair for a little more than half a season while Fox adjusts to a pro game in the AHL, it just buys time before Shattenkirk can be more reasonably bought out next summer. Fox can be brought up when A) he is ready and it is obvious, conditional pick be damned, or B) after the plateau has been hit in order to keep the 2nd rounder next year.

 

All of this is moot though if there actually is a buyer for Shattenkirk now.

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I wouldn't personally put money on Shattenkirk building up his value. I was just suggesting the Rangers may perhaps view it this way. I do question whether Fox is actually ready though. We are being forcefed this narrative that he will seamlessly move from college to the NHL, and we have seen multiple instances in the past where this just isn't the case.

 

Yeah, from vastly inferior players who didn't post record-setting point-per-game values. I get not wanting to buy into the hype too hard, but with Fox, at least on paper, it feels entirely justified.

 

If he's not ready, though, then he's not ready. I just don't buy that delaying his NHL start is going to blaze any kind of path for Shattenkirk to stick around. He's on borrowed time no matter the configuration or delays you put into place and he's going to struggle to "build" any more value than he has right now because there's no direct line to the power play.

 

If Shattenkirk eats crap minutes on the 3rd pair for a little more than half a season while Fox adjusts to a pro game in the AHL, it just buys time before Shattenkirk can be more reasonably bought out next summer. Fox can be brought up when A) he is ready and it is obvious, conditional pick be damned, or B) after the plateau has been hit in order to keep the 2nd rounder next year.

 

All of this is moot though if there actually is a buyer for Shattenkirk now.

 

Right. And I'm fine with that. A buyout next summer would be reasonable.

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I wouldn't personally put money on Shattenkirk building up his value. I was just suggesting the Rangers may perhaps view it this way. I do question whether Fox is actually ready though. We are being forcefed this narrative that he will seamlessly move from college to the NHL, and we have seen multiple instances in the past where this just isn't the case.

 

If Shattenkirk eats crap minutes on the 3rd pair for a little more than half a season while Fox adjusts to a pro game in the AHL, it just buys time before Shattenkirk can be more reasonably bought out next summer. Fox can be brought up when A) he is ready and it is obvious, conditional pick be damned, or B) after the plateau has been hit in order to keep the 2nd rounder next year.

 

All of this is moot though if there actually is a buyer for Shattenkirk now.

 

Fox is closer to Cole Makar than say a Neal Pionk. He's going to prove just that in the prospect tourney, training camp, and the preseason games. I would be completely shocked if he wasn't on the big club when the season starts.

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He lead the entire NCAA D1 in points per game, including forwards, and finished a point shy of Makar's 49 on the year. It's a fucking insult to even mention him in the same breath as Pionk.
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Fox is closer to Cole Makar than say a Neal Pionk. He's going to prove just that in the prospect tourney, training camp, and the preseason games. I would be completely shocked if he wasn't on the big club when the season starts.

 

I'm with you on this one Kev! Fox is sounding to me like he's going to play with the big club from the start of the season. I think he's on a different plane than DeAngelo.

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I think he'll be traded. I don't think he'll be bought out. If they can't find a partner, he could be a useful piece.

 

Smith, on the other hand, is out. He's not good enough to play D. Too expensive to keep around as a 4th liner. I believe he's the buyout candidate.

 

Smith is an odd case.

 

In theory, buyout makes sense; your hit is 3.379m less this year. However, in every subsequent year, your hit is higher that it would be over stashing him in the minors. That hurts a lot.

 

It's really a question of whether or not you think you need that 3.379m right this moment. It's similar to Beleskey, where we could deal him, eat half, and probably make out better than simply buying him out.

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I take the contract management view. You have plenty of young D men that are waiver exempt. They have options.

 

If you can't move Shattenkirk, and get value back, I'd just keep the young guys down. Your hand hasn't been forced in any regard and you have a chance to build value in the old guys so they can be jettisoned at a better time.

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I share the author's surprise at the apparent lack of interest at Shatty at $3.3 m per for two years, especially when you look at the marginal defensemen that teams are happy to obtain. They should just hold tight. Someone will bite on him with at 50% retention before opening night. Much as I have a soft spot for him for sacrificing term to come here to begin with, there's just no role for him with Trouba and Fox around.
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