Chicago Wolves, AHL affiliate of struggling Blues, sign veteran NHL d-man Wisniewski

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James Wisniewski, a veteran of 552 NHL games, has signed a standard contract with the Chicago Wolves, the minor league affiliate of the St. Louis Blues.

The deal was announced Sunday.

Wisniewski had a PTO with the Tampa Bay Lightning but was released in October, before he signed in the KHL. In 16 games with Vladivostok Admiral, he had one goal and four points.

“We are excited to have James as part of the Wolves organization,” said Wolves general manager Wendell Young in a release. “He brings a wealth of experience and skill to our team. He will be a great enhancement for an already outstanding group.”

The move to bring Wisniewski into the Wolves is interesting given their affiliation with the Blues — a team struggling this season and by no means a lock to make the Western Conference playoff bracket — and the fact he’s a right-shooting defenseman that has been productive at the NHL level.

Kevin Shattenkirk, also a right-shooting defenseman capable of producing from the blue line, has been subject to trade speculation for some time now.

He’s an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and general manager Doug Armstrong didn’t really quell any speculation with recent comments, saying: “If we’re stumbling along like this, then all bets are off. We don’t want to keep players here, hope to sneak into eighth place and get hammered in the first round.”

The entire situation in St. Louis is one to keep an eye on over the next few weeks and months.

But for now, Wisniewski’s deal with the Wolves is an AHL-only deal, per Sportsnet.