Much digital ink has already been spilled on the St. Louis Blues and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.
As our Brian La Rose wrote yesterday, most hockey insiders believe Shattenkirk is committed to becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer. However, the Blues are not looking like a serious contender, having lost six of their last 10 games. Goaltender Jake Allen is sporting an ugly 0.897 SV% in his first year as the Blues’ starter.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie appeared on TSN Edmonton radio on Friday morning and suggested the Blues could raise their asking price for Shattenkirk by talking to him and his agent to find out his ideal landing spot. The Blues could facilitate contract talks before completing the rare sign and trade, meaning the new team could get Shattenkirk on an eight-year contract and the Blues can get a higher price for the offensive defenseman compared to trading him as a rental.
The Blues may not be opposed to that option, as they did something similar at last year’s NHL Draft. The Arizona Coyotes and Edmonton Oilers were both granted permission to speak with Shattenkirk. The Coyotes reportedly made some progress, but the Oilers were told Shattenkirk wasn’t interested in signing long-term. Had he expressed interest in signing in Edmonton, it’s entirely possible that Taylor Hall could have been a St. Louis Blue instead of a New Jersey Devil.
According to Darren Dreger, Shattenkirk could have interest in signing long-term with Anaheim, Boston, Colorado, Detroit, New York (Rangers), San Jose, and Toronto. The Rangers are believed to be the front-runners at this time.
- The Blues have recalled Pheonix Copley from the Chicago Wolves. Copley is 11-4-1 with a 0.920 SV% with the Wolves. Neither of the Blues’ current goaltenders are injured, but Allen and Carter Hutton have the worst combined SV% in the NHL at 0.895.
- On their morning roundtable, ESPN insiders discussed the pros and cons of the Blues’ two-coach system. Ken Hitchcock is in his final year while Mike Yeo was brought in to eventually replace him; both men are behind the bench this season, however. While they agree that neither the coaches nor the system are to blame for the Blues’ struggles, Pierre LeBrun wonders “whether [Hitchcock] will last the rest of the season if the Blues keep producing uneven results,” especially considering his replacement is already in place.