Lightning pounce on Rangers buyout Shattenkirk

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Last week, the New York Rangers bought out the remaining two years of defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk’s contract and it seems his time as an unrestricted free agent has already reached its end. On Monday morning, Shattenkirk signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning worth $1.75 million. Shattenkirk now gets a chance to revive his career playing with one of the most dominant teams in the league.

Recap of situation

When Shattenkirk originally arrived in New York, the plan was to pair him with Ryan McDonagh and give McDonagh the partner he never truly had. Of course, they would play together for just over half a season until the 2018 trade deadline which saw McDonagh head to Tampa in exchange for a package centered around current Rangers defenseman, Libor Hajek. Shattenkirk also dealt with a knee injury for a good chunk of that season and missed a lot of time that he could’ve spent playing with McDonagh.

Now, after a failed two-year relationship, Shattenkirk was the piece that needed to be let go in the Rangers pursuit of getting cap compliant by the beginning of the 2019-20 season. His over $6 million cap hit was too much for the team to bear anymore and the Rangers made the tough decision to buy out the New York boy who’s dream to play for his childhood team turned into something neither side could’ve predicted in the summer of 2017. In just two years on Broadway, Shattenkirk had gone through part of a rebuild and was looking at possibly being a seventh defenseman for the club this season after the trades for 25-year-old Jacob Trouba and Harvard standout, Adam Fox. 

That was fast

Shattenkirk didn’t even last a week and with this new one-year “prove it” deal from the Lightning, Shattenkirk will look to play with Ryan McDonagh or possibly even Victor Hedman on a stacked Lightning squad. This also puts to bed any concerns over his knee. If Shattenkirk can find his game again, albeit with a little lesser role than the Lightning hit a home run here. 

We at Forever Blueshirts wish nothing but the best for Kevin Shattenkirk as he was a consummate pro while he wore the jersey. We all wish he could’ve been a part of the solution going forward, but for now we wish both he and the Rangers success.

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