The unspoken reason why buying out Shattenkirk is a bad idea
Two summers ago the prized free agent was a defenseman named Kevin Shattenkirk. At the time, almost all the insiders stated that the Rangers wouldn’t go the 7 years for $7M it would take to get him. They had the Lightning and their no state income tax as one of the favorites too. In the end, and as we reported, the Rangers didn’t have to because he would take less to play here.
Oddly enough, it seems that we are in the same boat as we talk about Artemi Panarin. However, let’s remain focused on why a buyout of Kevin Shattenkirk would send a shockwave of fear to any UFA who would sign here for a discount.
You see, Shattenkirk always wanted to be a Ranger. He put his money where his mouth is when he signed for only 4 years and $6.65M. Unfortunately he tried to soldier on a bad knee in his first year limiting him to only 46 games and endured surgery and a rebuild in his second. So the guy who wanted to be a Ranger has done all the right things, hasn’t had a fair chance to show what he can do, and we are talking about buying him out?
Besides all the financial absurdity of what a buyout of Shattenkirk would do to the Rangers cap for three years after just one season of savings, you are sending a bad signal. Basically, thanks for trying to help us out and really wanting to play here over better offers, but we’re done with you.
How do you think Artemi Panarin would take that? Especially if he is leaving anywhere between $7M to $14M to play in Florida or with the rival Islanders? It’s just not a good look.
Plus, if you are Panarin wouldn’t you rather play with a known commodity like Shattenkirk on the PP? Sure it’s great that the Rangers added Trouba but as awesome a prospect as Adam Fox is, he is still an unknown.
So we are a few days away from the opening of Free Agency and if the Rangers are serious about Panarin they need to clear cap room. The first buyout window closes Sunday, and they will need to use that to clear some space for the prized UFA of the summer. It just can’t be Shattenkirk, the Rangers need to find a better option and send the right message.