Updates on Shattenkirk and Russell – September 20, 2016
More Kevin Shattenkirk trade speculation plus an update on unrestricted free agent defenseman Kris Russell in your NHL rumor mill.
STLTODAY.COM: Jeremy Rutherford reports defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk goes from being on the verge of getting traded earlier this summer to attending Blues training camp as an alternate captain. Shattenkirk acknowledged that his unrestricted free agent status next summer lead to general manager Doug Armstrong fielding offers, saying he realized it was a business move.
Shattenkirk could command over $6 million annually next summer on the open market, which might not make sense for the Blues, who already have Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko on the right side of their blueline.
While Shattenkirk lacks a no-trade clause, his UFA status next summer complicates things, as clubs interested in acquiring him also wish to re-sign him to a contract extension. “It’s believed that Shattenkirk’s unwillingness to sign an extension in Edmonton nixed a potential trade between the Blues and Oilers, yielding speedy forward Taylor Hall,” write Rutherford.
Jeff Gordon, meanwhile, suggests if the Blues aren’t able to get forward Vladimir Sobotka to return from the KHL this season, they should use the savings to acquire winger Rick Nash and his $7.8 million cap hit from the New York Ranges, who are believed interested in Shattenkirk.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The “Nash-for-Shattenkirk” speculation has floated around throughout the summer. However, I just don’t see Nash being a fit with the Blues right now. They’re already deep at left wing with Alex Steen, Robby Fabbri (though both can both also play center) and Jaden Schwartz. Nash can play right wing, but he’d have to skate on the second line behind Vladimir Tarasenko. If the Blues and/or Ranger struggle this season, perhaps that sets the table for that trade.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites TSN’s Bob McKenzie saying he wouldn’t be surprised if unrestricted free agent defenseman Kris Russell accepted a one-year contract, guessing it could be between $4 – $5 million. McKenzie also addressed rumors of Russell signing with the Edmonton Oilers, saying he’d probably be a decent fit on a short-term deal. However, he also said he’s heard Russell is talking to as many as eight teams, among them the Calgary Flames.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames interest in Russell depends upon the cost of re-signing superstar restricted free agent winger Johnny Gaudreau. I doubt they’ll fork over $4-$5 million to Russell on a one-year deal after paying what’s likely to be $7 million annually for Gaudreau, unless they make a cost-cutting trade involving another player. The Oilers have over $8 million in cap space, more than enough to meet Russell’s asking price on a one-year deal.