The St. Louis Blues have traded defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and Pheonix Copley to the Washington Capitals in exchange for a 2017 first-round draft pick, a conditional 2019 second-round draft pick, Brad Malone and prospect Zach Sanford. The deal between these two clubs was originally announced to be in the works by Rutherford before being confirmed by the Frank Seravalli of TSN later in the night. The details we’re coming confirmed by ESPN insider Pierre LeBrun. The Blues also retained some salary in the deal, retaining 39 percent of Shattenkirk’s contract.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) February 28, 2017
Shattenkirk has played with the Blues since St. Louis acquired him and forward Chris Stewart in a trade from the Colorado Avalanche from former first overall draft pick Erik Johnson. Shattenkirk, a former 14th-overall draft pick, has scored 11 goals and 42 points in 61 games this season and has been the subject of trade talk for the last year and a half. While some question his defensive ability, many believe that Shattenkirk is a legitimate top-pairing defender based on his elite offensive instincts and consistent output year in and year out.
In his career, Shattenkirk has played in 471 NHL games and scored 66 goals and 284 points. One of the more proficient offensive-defensemen in the league, Shattenkirk is joining an already stacked Washington Capitals lineup that has earned its way to the top of the NHL standings with 89 points.
Going All-In for the Cup
Many believed that the New York Rangers or Boston Bruins would be the front-runners to acquire Shattenkirk given his ties to the New York and Boston area. A native of New York and a former-Boston University standout, many still believe that Shattenkirk’s long-term goal is to end up with one of the two franchises. As it stands, Shattenkirk will join the Capitals on their quest for their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
The Blues are also looking for their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, but with Shattenkirk’s contract expiring on July 1, the Blues had to decide on getting something for Shattenkirk now, or keeping him for their own playoff run and risk letting him potentially walk away for nothing in the offseason.
For the Blues, the return was far less than many people expected it to be. Shattenkirk’s offense will be hard to replace on the back-end for the Blues playoff push, but the Capitals paid the price for what certainly looks to be just a rental given the fact that many expected the Blues to get a first round pick, a mid-to-top level prospect, and a player. Still, considering the Capitals are potentially only getting the 28-year-old for the remainder of the season and the playoffs, the price was still a steep one to pay.
Re-Kindling Old Trade Partnerships
This isn’t the first time that the Capitals and Blues have pulled off a blockbuster deal in recent years. In the offseason of 2015, the Blues sent forward TJ Oshie to the Capitals in exchange for forward Troy Brouwer in a deal that surprised the hockey world. Oshie was coming off of a tremendous showing in the 2014 Sochi games in Russia, but the Blues were looking to add some physicality to their game and were willing to substitute some offense and skill to fill their need.
Shattenkirk is already set to be in the Capital’s lineup Tuesday night against the New York Rangers, as TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported. The Capitals are wasting no time in getting their newest addition into their gameplan despite their position in the standings.
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.