In today’s News & Notes, Kevin Shattenkirk is injured, Matt Murray has been activated off of the injured reserve and Dion Phaneuf will be out of action while being evaluated for injury.
Shattenkirk Out 2-4 Weeks
The New York Rangers have ruled Shattenkirk out for the next two-to-four weeks with a separated shoulder. The injury occurred Dec. 10 against the Tampa Bay Lightning after the veteran blueliner took a hit from J.T. Miller, his former teammate in New York.
Shattenkirk is in the second season of a four-year, $26.6 million contract with the Rangers. The 29-year-old has scored one goal and eight points in 29 games and has had a significantly slower start offensively to this season than he typically does.
Few defenders have been as consistent on offense as Shattenkirk who would record upwards of 40 points in five consecutive seasons (not including the 2012-13 lockout-shortened season in which he would score five goals and 23 points) dating back to his time in St. Louis. Shattenkirk’s best offensive season came in 2016-17 when he would score 13 goals and 56 points in 80 games split between the St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals.
This news still hits the Rangers’ hard as Shattenkirk is one of their most established blue-liners having played in the NHL for nine seasons after being drafted in the first round in 2007.
Murray Activated Off IR
The Pittsburgh Penguins have activated Murray off of the injured reserve and subsequently have assigned Tristan Jerry to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL. The 24-year-old Murray was placed on the injured reserve on Nov. 22 with a lower-body injury. The original designation came with a statement from the Penguins that the injury would likely be “longer-term” as this injury “was not something that we expected.”
Prior to the injured reserve stint, Murray was struggling with a 4-5-1 record this season in 11 starts. He’d also compiled a 4.08 goals-against average and .877 save percentage; both totals would be unacceptable by even the league’s worst backup goaltender, let alone a two-time Stanley Cup-winning goalie.
The Penguins next contest will come Friday when they take on the Bruins in Boston.
Phaneuf Sent to LA for Evaluation
The Los Angeles Kings have sent Dion Phaneuf back to Los Angeles for evaluation. The veteran exited the Kings’ game Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres and will be out indefinitely until the team can figure out the extent of his ailment. Whether that means he’s day-to-day or worse is not yet clear.
The 33-year-old defender has only recorded one assist in 32 games this season. It’s a stark drop-off following a six-goal, 26-point campaign in 79 games a season ago split between the Ottawa Senators and Kings which included three goals and 10 points in 26 games in LA alone.
Phaneuf was traded to the Senators along with Nick Shore a season ago in a deal that saw Marian Gaborik and Nate Thompson sent to Ottawa in return.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.