This isn’t entirely surprising news. It was speculated during the summer that Shattenkirk is a player that could become a cap casualty and get shopped during the season. Custance points out in his piece that St. Louis would probably love to keep him, but it may not be feasible financially.
The 26-year-old defender’s contract is up at the end of the 2016-17 season and he’s going to be in store for a significant pay raise, something St. Louis may not be able to dole out following a huge contract for Vladimir Tarasenko over the summer. Additionally, and probably more importantly, the team has Alex Pietrangelo ($6.5M) and Jay Boumeester ($5.4M) on contract through at least the 2018-19 season.
We could speculate about what Shattenkirk would make, but it’s safe to say that it’d at least be a match of Boumeester’s deal. That would give them three defensemen on the books at or above $5.4 million.
If they believe they can’t afford to re-sign Shattenkirk, then something has to give. You can’t lose a player as good as Shattenkirk for nothing. If they move him now, he’s not a rental, which would increase his value. They could also look at a move during the summer, Custance points out, when his value would still be higher than if they wait until the trade deadline next season.
You have to imagine he’d be highly sought after. He’s a offensive-minded defenseman, who is defensively sound, right-handed and great on the power play.
Through 33 games this season, Shattenkirk has eight goals and 25 points.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.