Kevin Shattenkirk

Shattenkirk is ‘ready to go’ for Blues

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As anticipated, the St. Louis Blues are getting a significant boost on Saturday, as key defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk returns to the lineup against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

As an added bonus, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch points out that the Blues will see the return of two blueliners with Carl Gunnarsson also slated to come back.

Shattenkirk sounds excited about shaking off the rust.

“I’m ready to go,’” Shattenkirk said. “I felt good out there. It was nice to just be back with the team and get the speed of the game back a little bit. I’m exited about it.

“I’ve done what I’ve had to do rehab-wise. It’s time to just get back into it. It may not be pretty to start, but you have to get that mindset of playing games to really get back up to speed.”

To start things off, head coach Ken Hitchcock is pairing Shattenkirk with Barret Jackman, Gunnarsson with Alex Pietrangelo and rounding things out with Jay Bouwmeester – Zbynek Michalek. There’s also a chance that St. Louis will dress seven defensemen, but if not, Robert Bortuzzo would be a healthy scratch.

Despite missing 25 games with this abdominal injury, Shattenkirk is second in scoring among Blues defensemen with 40 points (Pietrangelo just passed him with 41). This already-formidable St. Louis squad could be very scary if the 26-year-old can get up to speed by the playoffs.

Report: Blues think Shattenkirk, Gunnarsson will be back Saturday


Kevin Shattenkirk hasn’t played since Feb. 1 because of an abdominal injury, but St. Louis Blues believe that the 26-year-old defenseman will be available for Saturday’s game against Columbus, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.

That seems to mesh well with Blues coach Ken Hitchcock’s note on Tuesday that Shattenkirk’s return is coming “pretty quick,” per the Post-Dispatch, and the Blues’ announcement yesterday that 21-year-old defenseman Petteri Lindbohm has been sent to the AHL Chicago Wolves.

Before Shattenkirk was injured, he looked like a potential Norris Trophy candidate. He had 40 points and 77 blocked shots in 49 contests while averaging 22:54 minutes per game. Despite missing a player of his caliber, the Blues have stayed strong with a 14-8-3 record during his absence. They’re in the running for the Presidents’ Trophy.

Defenseman Carl Gunnarsson (upper body) is also expected to return from a two game absence. If both of them are available, then Hitchcock will have a tough time assembling the lineup given that he also have blueliners Barret Jackman, Zbynek Michalek, Jay Bouwmeester, Chris Butler, Alex Pietrangelo, Robert Bortuzzo to choose from. With that in mind, St. Louis might dress seven defensemen on Saturday.

Blues’ Shattenkirk ‘week-to-week’ as he recovers from abdominal surgery

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Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who has been out of the St. Louis Blues’ lineup since Feb. 1 recovering from abdominal surgery, says he’s now on a week-to-week time frame.

The 26-year-old met the media for the first time on Wednesday and discussed his recovery.

“I guess about a week ago now, the scar tissue released and that kind of spooked me a little bit,” said Shattenkirk per “They say if that happens, just take some time, take a day off, let it rest and it’s going to feel better, and it has. The groin is still something that I need to work on and strengthen, and then once that gets back, hopefully I can jump into real team practices and then get my conditioning back and ready for games.”

Shattenkirk got tangled with Washington Capitals’ forward Alex Ovechkin during the Blues’ 4-3 win.

Tonight, when the Blues host the Flyers, will be his 18th game out of the lineup. St. Louis is 10-6-1 in his absence.

“It was a weird play,” said Shattenkirk. “I just kind of bumped Ovechkin and fell down. I tried to get up, and as I was sliding, my toes seemed to get caught in the ice and open my leg up as my body was still moving. I just felt a pop and instant pain in my belly and in my groin. I knew right away something was really bad. I’ve had little tweaks before, but this one felt instantly like something was wrong.

“That’s the thing, I didn’t really know what to expect, what it could have been. Once they gave the MRI, they showed the MRI and said that it was essentially torn off the bone at both spots on the right side and then on the left side in the ab as well. It was pretty amazing to know that that little play caused so much damage.”

Shattenkirk doesn’t have a specific game targeted for his return, but says the recovery process is on track.

“We’re kind of taking it on a week-to-week basis,” he said. “Thursday, I believe, will be five weeks out. It’s just going by the protocol and following it. I think as I talk to the doctors, and we kind of see how I’m feeling and what next steps we can take, that’s all you can really do. But I’m pushing for the six-week mark and I want to make that mark. But I also want to come back and be 100 percent, and obviously every knows that. I wouldn’t be helping the team out coming back any less than that, I think.”

Shattenkirk had eight goals and 40 points while averaging nearly 23 minutes a night in ice time in 49 games prior to the injury.

Blues beef up defense, acquire Michalek from Coyotes


The St. Louis Blues have bolstered their defensive depth for the playoffs, acquiring veteran Zbynek Michalek and a conditional third-round pick from Arizona, per ESPN.

UPDATE: Per ESPN, prospect Maxim Letunov is on his way to Arizona. The Russian forward was St. Louis’ second-round pick (52nd overall) at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, and is currently playing in the USHL.

Michalek, 32, has appeared in 53 games for the Coyotes this season but is currently sidelined with a concussion. Prior to getting hurt, he was averaging over 21 minutes a night and was one of the league’s top shot-blockers — he currently sits 12th in the NHL, with 130.

In St. Louis, he’ll join a blueline that’s relatively stacked with Jay Bouwmeester, Alex Pietrangelo, Carl Gunnarsson, Petteri Lindbohm, Ian Cole and Barret Jackman comprising the top-six. Once Michalek and Kevin Shattenkirk return from injury, Cole and Lindbohm are the two most likely to be dropped out of the lineup, but the pair will give head coach Ken Hitchcock nice depth options in the postseason.

For Arizona…well, the tank is officially on. The club has lost nine straight and shipped out three key pieces in Michalek, Antoine Vermette and Keith Yandle over the last 48 hours. The Coyotes are now in a legit dogfight for top spot in the McEichel sweeps, along with Buffalo and Edmonton.

That said, Coyotes GM Don Maloney seems pleased with landing Letunov.

“Maxim is a big, skilled center with excellent upside,” Maloney said, in a statement. “He will play at Boston University next season who do a great job developing players We are excited to have him join our organization.”

Update: Michalek updated his current health status, per’s Lou Korac…

Worth pointing out that Michalek isn’t coming to St. Louis cheaply — he’s on a five-year, $20 million contract with a $4M annual cap hit. That said, he is in the last year of that deal and an unrestricted free agent on July 1 — and Arizona will reportedly retain 50 percent of Michalek’s salary.

There’s some Flyers roster uncertainty ahead of Timonen’s potential return


From CSN Philly:

Defenseman Kimmo Timonen (blood clots) was expected to skate on Friday and did not. He is aiming to make his season debut Saturday against the Rangers.

However, for him to do that, the Flyers need to clear a roster spot.

As of noon Friday, no Flyer was reportedly on waivers.

Which means, either Timonen won’t play Saturday against the Rangers, or the Flyers were preparing to trade a player to create a roster spot for him.

Another possibility is that Timomen is the one who gets traded. Yes, a team would be taking a chance given he hasn’t played a game all season, but he’s apparently looked good at practice. The 39-year-old could easily end up worth the risk, if the price is right.

Just to throw a Stanley Cup contender out there — what about the St. Louis Blues, currently without Kevin Shattenkirk? That could be a fit, no? Can never have too many defensemen once the playoffs start.

Or, maybe the Anaheim Ducks. Currently struggling without Sami Vatanen, and pretty inexperienced on the back end anyway.

The Flyers currently have eight d-men on the 23-man roster: Braydon Coburn, Carlo Colaiacovo, Michael Del Zotto, Nicklas Grossmann, Andrew MacDonald, Luke Schenn, Mark Streit, and Nick Schultz.