1. Signing Kevin Shattenkirk
The Rangers managed to lock down Kevin Shattenkirk during the free agent frenzy on July 1.
They signed the 28-year-old defenseman to a four-year deal worth $6.65 million AVV. Shattenkirk reportedly left money on the table to sign with the Rangers. Hailing from New Rochelle, New York, Shattenkirk managed to lock down a deal with his hometown team.
Shattenkirk played in 80 games last season between St. Louis and Washington and had 13 goals and 43 assists for 56 points.
This move has been most substantial from the Rangers this offseason thus far. The addition of an offensive defenseman like Shattenkirk will impact how the Rangers exit the zone and will help them generate dangerous opportunities.
Pairing him with Ryan McDonagh will solidify a top defensive pair that can score goals, but will also be reliable and responsible.
These two defensemen will be able to feed off of each other’s strengths. While McDonagh will thrive off of Shattenkirk’s offensively geared style, Shattenkirk can balance his offense with reliable defense.
This move is the one that makes the future brightest. It gives the Rangers a great opportunity to make Lundqvist’s job easier. More importantly, it gives them a shot at a Stanley Cup.