With defenseman Dan Girardi’s long awaited buyout by the New York Rangers, the team was on the hunt for a young, quality, and strong defenseman that could propel the team to their utmost potential. Well, that fantasy became reality as the Blueshirts signed defenseman, Kevin Shattenkirk, on Saturday afternoon to a four-year deal worth $26.6 million.
The New Rochelle, New York native was drafted as the 14th overall pick by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2007 NHL Draft and stayed there until February 2011 when he was traded to the St. Louis Blues. Shattenkirk was a main key of the Blues’ success for the last six seasons. On February 27, 2017, in what would have been the final year of his contract, Shattenkirk was traded to the Washington Capitals, where he remained until the Capitals’ playoff elimination in the second round.
Shattenkirk had multiple offers from at least three teams, with the New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres being the other two that were known to the public.
“It’s a dream to play for the team I idolized growing up. I’m just thankful for this opportunity to play with a team that I’ve grown up loving,” Shattenkirk told NHL Network following the signing.
The top two defense pairing on the New York Rangers’ are now Ryan McDonagh with Shattenkirk and rookie Brady Skjei with Brendan Smith. The team currently has a little over $8 million left in cap space. With a revamped defense, and with some money to spare to add one more quality forward, the Rangers may be the team to watch out for in 2017-18.