The best unrestricted free agent defenseman, according to the hockey pool rankings, was snapped up by the New York Rangers on Saturday, as they signed Kevin Shattenkirk to a new 4-year deal, worth a grand total of $26.6 million. There were some reports out there that Shattenkirk left a lot of money on the table from other teams and their offers, but it was his biggest desire to play on Broadway and now he has got his wish.
Last season between the Blues and the Capitals, the 28-year old scored 13 goals and 56 points in 80 games, finishing 4th among all defenders in scoring, 79th overall. He brings a good portion of offense to a blueline that is fairly reliable already, especially with Brady Skjei emerging as a solid scoring talent as well.
Also on Saturday, the Rangers were able to add a new back-up goalie, giving Ondrej Pavelec a shot behind Henrik Lundqvist. Pavelec signed a 1-year deal after he had a bit of a rough year in the Jets organization.
|Rick Nash||7.800||Kevin Shattenkirk||6.650||Henrik Lundqvist||8.500|
|Chris Kreider||4.625||Marc Staal||5.700||Ondrej Pavelec||1.300|
|Mats Zuccarello||4.500||Ryan McDonagh||4.700|
|J.T. Miller||2.750||Brendan Smith||4.350|
|Michael Grabner||1.600||Kevin Klein||2.000|
|Kevin Hayes||1.300||Nick Holden||1.650|
|Jimmy Vesey||0.925||Brady Skjei||0.925|
|Pavel Buchnevich||0.925||Anthony DeAngelo||0.863|
It's still strange to me to see the Rangers in pretty good shape, when it comes to the salary cap and their remaining space. Their current 22-man projected roster, plus their buyouts, are only coming in at $66.7 million, leaving over $8 million left to play with. It will go downhill in a hurry though, as they still have plenty of work left to do this off-season, trying to re-sign both Mika Zibanejad and Jesper Fast.
The addition of Shattenkirk isn't quite enough to convince me that the Rangers are going to be a great team next season. Rick Nash still needs to play as well as his salary suggests that he should be playing, while the rest of their forward depth still lacks that consistent bite. Already, the are a much different looking team after dealing away Derek Stepan, but unless Jimmy Vesey is going to pick up the slack in his sophomore season, I am not believing in the Rangers today.