Kevin Shattenkirk has agreed to a four-year, $17 million extension with the St. Louis Blues, as reported by Jeremy Rutherford. Shattenkirk's deal will carry an average cap hit of $4.25 million and will keep the defenseman with the Blues through the 2016-17 season.
Chalk this one up as yet another strong move by Doug Armstrong. Seems like a regular occurrence, doesn't it?
Shattenkirk is one of the best young defenseman in the NHL. In 201 regular season games he has scored 23 goals and 86 assists. While he receives plenty of praise for his offensive abilities, he's also a reliable defenseman. He rarely makes mistakes and he consistently makes the smart, safe pass when pressured.
Shattenkirk's new contract falls right in line with what I predicted. When the Los Angeles Kings signed Slava Voynov to a new six-year, $25 million contract, it more or less set the bar for Shattenkirk. My prediction was that Shattenkirk's average cap hit would fall extremely close to Voynov's $4.166 line and that's almost exactly what happened.
For the Blues, this is yet another strong signing. They've retained one of the league's best defenseman for a reasonable price.
The Blues aren't out of the woods yet. They've addressed two major questions (Berglund, Shattenkirk), but they still have to decide on Alex Pietrangelo and Chris Stewart. Pietrangelo's contract - a matter of when he receives one, not if - is a bit easier to predict now that Shattenkirk's deal is completed. Pietrangelo deserves to make more than Shattenkirk and we now have a starting point thanks to Shattenkirk's annual $4.25 salary.
By the way, thoughts on Vincent Lecavalier? Not sure what pricetag he'd command now, but if you want a playmaking center, one just dropped right down into the middle of the free agent pool. Worth it for Armstrong to consider?
Nice call on the Voynov deal. I also agree with Armstrong's decision that he should make more, if only slightly, than Voynov. Overall, great deal for both sides. So far, Armstrong has been knocking these deals out of the park. Now, I'm just nervous about Pietrangelo...we all know what he deserves, but nobody wants to see that number on paper. But as long as he's locked up, I'll be happy.
@lizardkingjl Definitely worth considering, but the odds of him landing here seem extremely slim. He'll command a decent contract and I don't see the Blues being in a position where they can make that happen. They're already above last year's payroll (don't quote me on that, but I think without looking) and that's before giving new contracts to Pietrangelo and (potentially) Stewart.
I wouldn't mind seeing Lecavalier in the mix, but I think he'll go somewhere else and earn another sizable contract.
@lizardkingjl Thanks! I think this deal was strong, but I too worry about Pietrangelo's. I know he deserves the money and would earn it elsewhere, but I can't help but cringe when thinking of an organization shelling out between $5-$8 million to just one player. I suppose other organizations do it all the time, but the Blues have been (and probably should still be) in that tight budget management position.