Trotz Apologizes To Shattenkirk

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In what can be described as odd and out of place, a strange controversy took place before the Rangers December 7th matchup versus the Washington Capitals.

Last season, the Capitals acquired the impending UFA Kevin Shattenkirk to bolster the blue line on an already solid Washington team. Shattenkirk wasn’t the best down the line for the boys in Red in DC, and the Capitals eventually flamed out in the second round.

Shattenkirk signed a 4 year, 26.6 million dollar deal with the Rangers, and even after a horrid beginning with his hometown team, things seemed to be going right for Shattenkirk, as the Rangers won 12 out of their last 15 going into the matchup against the Capitals. Before the tilt, Barry Trotz spoke to the media and had this to say about his former defenseman.

 “I think everybody thought of him as a 1-2 [defenseman], and he really wasn’t,” Trotz said on Thursday afternoon. “He was a little lower.” Brett Cygralis/New York Post

Shattenkirk, seemingly distraught by these comments, replied the best way he could to his former coaches comment.

“It doesn’t sit well with you,” Shattenkirk said. “It’s nothing that you enjoy hearing. I think there are a lot of people that probably think that about me, and I like to use that in my favor and use that as something to keep me boosted and prove people wrong.” Brett Cygralis/New York Post

Shattenkirk admittedly thought about the comments Trotz had made at the start of the game, which led to a quick Capitals turnover and goal just 14 seconds in.

Fortunately, for Shattenkirk, Trotz got wind of his comments being relayed to Shattenkirk and apologized to him after the game.

“He came up to me and apologized after the game,” Shattenkirk told The Post following Monday’s practice. “He explained what he had said and told me that it had been portrayed differently than he intended. I appreciated that.”

Shattenkirk admitted that the comments in which Trotz said that No. 22 was not “a one-two” top pair defenseman were on his mind when he took the ice for the following night’s first shift on which his turnover led to the Caps’ first goal at 0:14.

“That game I felt I had a point to prove and then the first shift it’s in the net,” said Shattenkirk, whose Blueshirts meet the Ducks at the Garden on Tuesday. “I felt that I was playing catch-up the rest of the way.

“But after the game, talking to him and with the explanation he gave me, I put it out of my mind. It hasn’t stuck with me.” Larry Brooks/New York Post

Over the years, Barry Trotz has been a respectable coach in the league for many years with Nashville and now Washington and still is. But when you say something like this, especially when your team, not just Shattenkirk, flamed out in the playoffs and has not been meeting expectations, you come off as whiny. It looks as if you are holding one player accountable for the previous season when in reality, it was the whole team that didn’t meet expectations.

Unless the player was an obvious distraction or a major problem that nobody could avoid, it’s not something you should put on the record. Good that Trotz apologized for his comments and was able to mend that problem with Shattenkirk. So, now that the playground argument has been settled, let’s go inside and get our lunch and go home!