Tag: Kevin Shattenkirk

Barret Jackman

Blues have ‘no answer’ about re-signing Jackman


Barret Jackman wants to keep playing hockey, and wants to do it in St. Louis.

That much is known.

What isn’t known, though, is if the Blues want to bring back their current longest-tenured player, who sits No. 2 among the franchise leaders in games played.

“We’ve got to look at the cap and we’ve got to look at the role that he wants on the team,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong said of Jackman, per the Post-Dispatch. “Then I’ve got to find out the role the team has for him.

“So there’s no answer to that right now.”

Jackman, 34, is in the last of a three-year, $9.5 million deal with St. Louis, where he has has spent his entire 14-year career. Though he’s never blossomed into the star many projected upon winning the Calder in 2003, Jackman’s had a very solid run as a durable, physical and shutdown defenseman that blocks plenty of shots (finishing second on the team this year.)

He also knows he wants to keep playing not just next year, but beyond.

“I have lots left in me,” he said. “I don’t know, four-five years, year-to-year. The body’s the best it’s felt in years. I’ll continue to keep playing.”

The issue, of course, is that the Blues have big money already tied up in their defense with the Jay Bouwmeester, Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk contracts. There are cheaper options for bottom-pairing guys, and the club will need to free up some money this summer to ink Vladimir Tarasenko to an extension.

Jackman knows all this, and the reality of his situation.

“I don’t think my play’s dropped off year after year,” he explained. |I still feel like I help the team. With the cap issues and things like that.

“It’s going to be up to (Blues general manager Doug Armstrong) and coaches to see if I fit in.”

Hitch needs ‘time to reflect’ before making decision on future

Ken Hitchcock

Two days after the St. Louis Blues bowed out of the playoffs, yet again in the first round, head coach Ken Hitchcock wasn’t sure if he’d be back behind the bench next season.

“I need time to reflect,” Hitchcock said, per KMOV’s Andrew Allsman. “I feel like I’ve let people down.”

Hitchcock does not have a contract for next season. And despite what GM Doug Armstrong said in October — that it’s “up to the players to get the job done,” i.e. the coach isn’t the problem — it’s possible we could see a situation, like we saw in San Jose, where there’s a mutual parting of ways.

To be sure, if Hitchcock were to move on from St. Louis and wanted to keep coaching, he’d be an interesting candidate in a place like Edmonton.

“He’s hard on us, but he does it because he knows the right way and how to get to this position,” said Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, per NHL.com. “You can never take that away from the way he coaches. He coaches fundamentals. It’s something we needed and we were able to get here because of him.”

Let’s face it — if there’s one team in the NHL that could use a fundamentals-based coach, it’s the Oilers.

But that’s getting ahead of ourselves.

“We’re not naive to the fact that we let our fans down with our postseason play,” said Armstrong. “We need to find a way to address and overcome.”

Easier said than done.

Related: Blues owner ‘disappointed and frustrated,’ but not ready to ‘throw people under the bus’

Shattenkirk expects changes, but he supports Hitchcock

Ken Hitchcock

The St. Louis Blues’ time is now — or at least, it’s supposed to be. In theory they’re a pretty good team and we have seen a lot of evidence to support that in the regular season, but in four years they have only won one playoff series.

At this point the Blues are drawing comparisons to the San Jose Sharks of old that consistently dominated in the regular season only to come up short in the playoffs. That seems unfair to the Sharks though because in their 10-campaign playoff streak from 2004-14, they were never booted in the first round in back-to-back years. St. Louis has done it three times in a row.

So if the goal is to compete for the Stanley Cup, it seems that changes are likely on the way in St. Louis.

“I would assume so,” Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk told NHL.com’s Lou Korac. “Army’s (GM Doug Armstrong) not a guy who’s going to sit back and let this happen year after year.”

Whatever Armstrong does though, Shattenkirk hopes it doesn’t involve showing head coach Ken Hitchcock the door as the blueliner is convinced that the veteran bench boss with 708 wins under his belt is the right man to guide the team going forward.

Similarly, forward T.J. Oshie doesn’t think the current core of players is the problem.

“I guess if you watch the game and you don’t just look at the stat sheet, the core group has been playing some pretty good games since the playoffs,” Oshie said, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford. “We’ve been doing a lot of things that Hitch has been asking us to do, and for whatever reason we haven’t gotten the goals… We just haven’t gotten the goals.”

Whatever course Armstrong decides to take, it is important to note that there’s no easy fix. The San Jose Sharks had a lot of turnover during its decade of futility and it never ended up being enough.

Video: Parise opens scoring from a bad angle

Detroit Red Wings v Minnesota Wild

With Justin Fontaine in the box for tripping, Zach Parise opened the scoring with his second of the playoffs.

Matt Cooke started the play by causing Kevin Shattenkirk to turn the puck over at the Wild blue line.

Parise then beat Blues’ starter Jake Allen from a bad angle.

It makes one wonder…

Parise is the sixth player in franchise history to score a shorthanded goal in the playoffs.

Minnesota is 2-0 in the series when scoring first.

Shattenkirk lighting it up as Blues play ‘our game’

St. Louis Blues v Minnesota Wild - Game Three

Following Wednesday’s 6-1 whipping of Minnesota in Game 4 of their opening round series, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock had a telling quote:

“This is our game. It’s not our best game. We can play a lot better than we played today. We’ve still got things we’ve got to work on, but this is our game.

“We’re going to play this game and if it’s good enough, we’re going to put it out there, and if we win with it, great. If we don’t win with it, so be it. But this is our game.”

If Wednesday was truly indicative of the way the Blues want to play, might want to keep an eye on what Kevin Shattenkirk does moving forward.

Why? Well, Shattenkirk assisted on three of St. Louis’ six goals last night, continuing a theme that’s been present throughout this series; all told, he’s recorded helpers on seven of the Blues’ 12 goals and is currently tied with Anaheim’s Corey Perry for the playoff scoring lead.

Shattenkirk is also the first St. Louis blueliner to have six assists in a series since Hall of Famer Al MacInnis did it in 16 years ago.

Part of Shattenkirk’s Game 4 outburst came from a subtle move by Hitchcock. Hitch moved the 26-year-old back onto a defensive pairing with Carl Gunnarsson and the two fared pretty well, emerging with solid possession metrics (while allowing Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo to reunite as a pairing, which was also a boon for the Blues.)

While Shattenkirk was quick to deflect praise onto his teammates following the win, his comments said plenty about the Blues’ top talent coming through in a crucial moment.

“Our best players played well. Our whole lineup played well I think,” Shattenkirk said. “We got something from everyone tonight.”