The New York Rangers acquired Anthony DeAngelo from the Arizona Coyotes last week. A right handed, offensive defensemen would seem to be the perfect fit to pair up with Ryan McDonagh. Despite his high ceiling, the Rangers should still look for a more polished player of similar style. Insert free agent Kevin Shattenkirk.
Earlier I wrote about how the Rangers should look the other way from signing Kevin Shattenkirk in free agency. I know have changed my tune after all the craziness that has taken place over the past month and a half.
Currently, the Rangers have approximately $20 million dollars in cap space to play with this summer. This total could climb up to $23 million dollars if Kevin Klein retires. Part of this money will hopefully go to lock up Mika Zibanejad, Jesper Fast, and Bredan Smith. Even if all those deals are solidified in the upcoming week, there would still be enough money to pay Kevin Shattenkirk.
Kevin Shattenkirk is the perfect right handed, offensive defensemen fit to play alongside Ryan McDonagh, not DeAngelo. This is not a knock on DeAngelo, but Shattenkirk is just more of a proven commodity around the league who will provide an immediate impact.
DeAngelo is Still A Great Asset
DeAngelo’s career numbers for a 21 year old defensemen are impressive. In 94 AHL games he has registered 59 points and in 39 NHL games he has 14 points. Eight of those 14 career NHL points came on the power play, an area the Rangers need much improvement in.
However, his lack of experience and defensive liabilities do not make him an ideal candidate to play on the top pairing.
Insert : Kevin Shattenkirk
Shattenkirk is the perfect fit for the Rangers and with this cap space availble, should do everything in their power to get Shattenkirk. The New York native has been rumored for quite some time to be on the eyes of the Rangers front office.
He fills the void right handed void on the top pair with McDonagh. Also, his playmaking ability would give a much needed boost to the power play.
Currently, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Buffalo Sabers are rumored to be pursing the prized free agent. This is actually good news for the Rangers front office. Hopefully, one of these teams will provide Shattenkirk with an offer.
This will help not only set the market prize on Shattenkirk but will also set a baseline for his expectations. Even if these negotiations with other teams intensify, I believe he will hear out the Rangers.
Kevin Shattenkirk has seem to fall into the Ranger’s lap. The moves the Rangers have set up seem to be in order to free up cap space for a player of his caliber. This is the time the Rangers can fill a void that has not been addressed for a few years now.
Sign Shattenkirk long term now and have a formidable top pair that can potentially become the best defensive par in the NHL.