After another first-round playoff exit, many expected some sort of roster shake-up in St. Louis — and over the last week or so, rumors have swirled about a potential Kevin Shattenkirk trade.
On Wednesday, the Post-Dispatch tried to gauge the legitimacy of said rumors…
Now, the Blues have put Shattenkirk in the mix, at least gauging interest in what the All-Star could bring, according to league sources and media reports that have cited Edmonton, Columbus and Philadelphia as possible partners.
Blues general manager Doug Armstrong did not immediately return a message late Wednesday. Jordan Neumann, Shattenkirk’s agent, told the Post-Dispatch that he believed the reports are “not true.”
It’s easy to see why Shattenkirk would be in demand. At 26, he’s emerged as one of the NHL’s top young offensive defensemen — 44 points in just 56 games (abdomen injury) last year — and, in January, earned his first All-Star nod. He also carries a very reasonable $4.25M cap hit and is under contract through 2017.
Which begs the question — why would St. Louis move him?
Well, the Blues have Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester locked into sizable deals through 2019. That means the club might not have the money available to extend Shattenkirk, given he’d be in line for a sizable raise. What’s more, GM Doug Armstrong has some intriguing young d-man prospects in the pipeline — Joel Edmundson, Jordan Schmaltz, Petteri Lindbohm and Tommy Vanelli — that could push for a NHL gig by ’17.
And there is, of course, the shake-up theory. Moving Shattenkirk would be a bold move that reverberates throughout the room, something the club might consider given its recent playoff failures.