Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press

Why he’s here

St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency. With a salary-cap hit in 2016-17 of $4.25 million, he’ll be in line for a significant pay increase. The Blues might be unable to afford it. 

 

Analysis

On June 28, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Shattenkirk was surprised he hadn’t been traded at that point. Rutherford noted Blues general manager Doug Armstrong recently met with the blueliner’s agent to discuss a new contract. However, Shattenkirk’s salary demands (believed to between $6-$7 million annually) also sparked trade talk.

Armstrong acknowledged having trade discussions, telling Rutherford he hadn’t received the right offer for Shattenkirk. On July 1, CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty cited Armstrong appearing that afternoon on NHL Network saying his intention is to re-sign the blueliner. He added they could start the season with Shattenkirk in the lineup. 

 

Possible suitors

Whether Shattenkirk hits the trade block this summer or sometime in 2016-17, he will be attractive to clubs seeking a top-pairing mobile defenseman.

Haggerty reported the Boston Bruins had interest. The New York Rangers still lack a suitable replacement for the departed Keith Yandle. The Buffalo Sabres could also use another skilled top-two rearguard. 



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