Capitals go for broke to land Shattenkirk ahead of Rangers and Penguins

Shattenkirk (Getty)

Well it looks like the eventual Shattenkirk in a Rangers sweater will have to wait until July 1st to take place. Yesterday, the Capitals opted to mortgage their future to try and win the Cup that has eluded them and Alex Ovechkin for over a decade.

The Complex Deal

Everyone was trying to break this one down, but Elliotte Friedman did it best. (Chronological order is from bottom up)

Shattenkirk to Caps

So when you analyze the deal, the Caps give up 2 prospects, their first round pick this summer and possibly a 2nd round pick in 2019. That pick likely won’t come to fruition unless they get to the East Final because Shattenkirk is determined to hit the open market July 1st. The rest of the deal is a complex math problem to me.

Gorton Didn’t Blink

Let’s give Jeff Gorton credit for not caving in to St. Louis’ demands. I assure you Doug Armstrong went back to the Rangers to extract a better package knowing that Shattenkirk would have committed to a sign and trade with the Rangers. Gorton didn’t blink and opted to let this go and determine if this is the right fit come summer. The fact that a division rival improves for this season didn’t make him panic as he kept the long game in mind.

As I wrote recently, the Rangers held all the cards and St. Louis needed to get lucky and hope a team would throw caution into the wind for Shattenkirk. The Capitals were that team and it is understandable as to why. Ovechkin is 31 and Nicklas Backstrom turned 29 in November, both in the back end of their prime years.

What will be interesting is what Gorton will do between now and the deadline tomorrow. Does he makes some moves to solidify the defense? Improve the PP? Add size to the 4th line? If he opts not to do anything, does that mean he feels this Rangers team doesn’t need improving or that there isn’t a worthy improvement this year that could make a difference. Makes you wonder where he feels the Rangers are.

If that is the case, could we be seeing a few sell offs like Michael Grabner and Kevin Klein to contenders? I doubt it, but nothing is out of the realm of possibility with an expansion draft looming in June.

Or will we all sit with our jaws dropped if he pulls off a blockbuster with LA, or Anaheim. Does he stun as all with a Carolina deal for Justin Faulk?

God….I love the deadline.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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