The Bruins and Rangers are among those most interested in Kevin Shattenkirk. (Billy Hurst/USA Today Sports)
Less than a month from the NHL trade deadline, the Bruins are alive in the playoff race and active in the trade market.
Although their current group has managed to keep the team afloat into February, the Bruins could use another scoring presence on their wings (particularly one who could help team score some five-on-five goals on a more consistent basis) or another top-four defenseman.
And while everything is still seemingly in the beginning stages of ‘silly season’, the Bruins have been linked to Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog multiple times, and the idea of acquiring Blues defender Kevin Shattenkirk has been a two-year plot that continues to thicken.
The latter’s name popped up once again in regards to the Bruins on TSN’s latest edition of Insider Trading, too.
Although there are ‘several’ teams monitoring Shattenkirk’s situation with the Blues, who fired head coach Ken Hitchcock on Wednesday, Pierre LeBrun mentioned both the Bruins and Rangers as two teams that have significant interest in Shattenkirk.
A pending unrestricted free agent, the general and original consensus regarding a Shattenkirk trade seemed to center around the idea that it would be a sign-and-trade that would keep the 28-year-old in town with whatever team traded for him long after the stretch run. But LeBrun added that no team has proposed such a plan yet, meaning that any calls made to Blues GM Doug Armstrong from Don Sweeney have been about the Black and Gold simply renting Shattenkirk for the rest of the season.
That’s a risky proposition for the Bruins for a number of reasons. The biggest being that the expected price to be paid to acquire Shattenkirk (the Blues wanted David Pastrnak and two first-rounds picks last June, and while there’s no way they would ask for that same package, it would still be something that would make the Bruins think twice) is going to be gigantic, and the fact that the Bruins do not become anything close to Cup favorites — or even playoff locks, for that matter — with Shattenkirk plugged into their lineup for the final 20 games of the season doesn’t help. The elephant in the room, too, is that he’s probably going to test the market this summer no matter what the Bruins offer given the league’s undying need for right-handed, offensive defensemen.
Armstrong’s situation is a tricky one, as the Blues remain in the playoff picture and in the second wild card spot in the Western Conference as of right now, but are in a spot where getting something for Shattenkirk while they still can may outweigh the pros of holding onto him for one last playoff run led by the hope that the Blues’ goaltending situation resolves itself.
A native of New Rochelle, N.Y., Shattenkirk has 11 goals and 34 points in 50 games for the Blues this season.