The St. Louis Blues wanted to maximize a trade involving Kevin Shattenkirk by making sure he’d agree to a contract extension before dealing him to a new team for a large return. Shattenkirk reportedly turned down a seven-year, $42 million extension which would have led to him being traded to an unnamed team. Now, it appears the Blues will have to move Shattenkirk as a rental if they move him at all this season.
Shattenkirk doesn’t have a no-move clause, but his ability to turn down an extension heading into a trade with a team he’s not interested in effectively gives him one. With him declining a seven-year deal with an average cap hit of $7 million, Shattenkirk has also put the Blues in a bind with what they can now do with their asset.
The Blues will have to move Shattenkirk as a rental if they hope to get any kind of sizable return on their investment. Plenty of teams would be interested, but the return for a rental will be a far cry from what could have been expected if the contract was extended.
The most difficult part of this story is the fact the Blues could end up in a position they found themselves in last year. The David Backes and Troy Brouwer situations aren’t identical, but they were two assets the team retained in order to make a playoff run. In the end, the two players walked and the Blues didn’t receive anything in return. Should the Blues decide the market at the deadline isn’t worth parting with Shattenkirk, at most they can hope to get a small return for giving up Shattenkirk’s negotiation rights before they officially hit free agency on July 1st. Or, they may even see Shattenkirk walk with nothing coming back in return.
Will the Blues still move Shattenkirk? We’ll have to wait and see, but the best case scenario of a huge return on a leaving asset seems unlikely.