If not for bad luck Rangers’ Shattenkirk would have no luck

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Kevin Shattenkirk’s childhood dream of playing for the New York Rangers has so far been a nightmare. Now coming off the news that he will be out for a lengthy time due to a shoulder injury, the following statement is true.

If it wasn’t for bad luck, Shattenkirk would have no luck

On July 1st 2017, the kid who dreamt of winning a Stanley Cup with his hometown team, left millions on the table to make it a reality. Kevin Shattenkirk signed for 4 years at $6.65M per and left 7 year deals on the table to don a Rangers sweater. Since that day, Shattenkirk has been dealt 2 serious injuries and a rebuild notice.

So far in less than two seasons Shattenkirk has only played 75 out of a possible 112 games to date. By the time he returns from his shoulder separation in 2-4 weeks that number will be 75 out of 125-140 games. Bad luck indeed.

Shattenkirk (NYR)
Fickle Fans

Unfortunately, many in the fanbase have started to turn on Shattenkirk for a multitude of reasons. On paper and on the ice, he hasn’t lived up to expectations. Last season, he struggled and never materialized into the partner they hoped for with Ryan McDonagh.

Truth be told, Shattenkirk isn’t a shutdown defenseman as was Dan Girardi in his prime and that’s what McDonagh needed. The two were basically oil and vinegar and didn’t mix. Still Shattenkirk did manage to get 23 points in 46 games with 2 goals and 10 assists on the man advantage. He also did it while playing on a bad knee that eventually ended his season early as well as the Rangers. 

Now coming off surgery and the hype over the hiring of David Quinn as the new head coach, optimism was high. Unrealistically high if we are being honest. While it doesn’t excuse Shattenkirk’s lack of production with just 8 points in 29 games this season, it isn’t exactly fair to him either.

Coming off a major knee injury that required surgery. The firing of a coach and hiring of new one with a totally different system. A rebuild that saw the removal of key players like, McDonagh, Nash, and Grabner with more to come. How can we turn on him so quickly? It just doesn’t make sense.

Things Will Turn Around for Shattenkirk

The Rangers have in their possession a 2nd pair blue liner who can QB a power play. He needs a partner that can allow him to take offensive risks as well. Quinn and the organization need to realize that and make sure they configure the lineup to maximize not just his but others’ potential as well.

There’s no one on the team that wants to be a Ranger more than Shattenkirk aside for Henrik Lundqvist. He put his money where his mouth was when he left at least 20 to 21 million dollars in guaranteed salary on the table to sign here. So it is with certainty that I can say Shattenkirk wants to make this work and will put in the effort to turn it around.

Next year, if the Rangers are able to move or buyout Marc Staal, he will be the oldest veteran on a very young defense. He will set the tone and example for the kids like Neal Pionk, Tony DeAngelo, and Libor Hajek to follow. 

If he could just start getting some good breaks and bounces along the way, then he and the Rangers will enjoy much better days ahead.

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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