3. What to expect from Kevin Shattenkirk?
The Anaheim Ducks sent shockwaves through the NHL when they went out in Free Agency and signed top-four defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to a three-year, $11,700,000 contract.
It was a shock because the Ducks are meant to still be in the middle of a rebuild, while Shattenkirk’s stock was high after rebuilding his reputation with the Tampa Bay Lightning and winning a Stanley Cup.
So to say this was a bit of an odd marriage would be an understatement.
I mean, I can only compare it to that absolute stunner in High School who decided to date the class nerd for a couple of years despite the obvious gulf between them looks and personality wise – it just didn’t make a lot of sense.
However, the Ducks seem pretty adamant that they can be competitive in 2020-21, and the addition of Shattenkirk will certainly help towards making that goal a reality.
After all, after enduring an absolute nightmare of a homecoming with boyhood team the New York Rangers, Shattenkirk went to Florida not to retire, like a lot of New Yorkers, but instead to resurrect his career with the juggernaut that is the Tampa Bay Lightning.
And, boy, did it work a treat.
Shattenkirk was a completely different player in Tampa, averaging 18:54 of ice time a night while putting up 34 points (8 G, 26 A) in 70 regular season games with a plus / minus rating of +22, in addition to recording 13 points (3 G, 10 A) in 25 postseason games as the Lightning finally got their hands on the Stanley Cup.
He was a man reborn and he should be a perfect fit in Head Coach Dallas Eakins‘ system, who likes his defensemen to jump up in to the play and support the offense.
That’s what Shattenkirk does best and he’ll also be a lethal weapon to quarterback the power play for the Ducks, which ranked 30th (14.7) in the entire NHL in 2019-20.
Granted, you would never accuse Kevin Shattenkirk of being the best in his own zone, but he will help the defense compose beautiful music with the offense and that’s what the Ducks want in order to boost a struggling offense that really let them down last year.
Overall, expect Shattenkirk to be the go-to guy for the Anaheim Ducks on the backend, driving play, chipping in with offense and quarterbacking the power play with perhaps either Cam Fowler or Hampus Lindholm as his partner.
But the Kevin Shattenkirk revival story should only continue in 2020-21, and that will be very good news for the Ducks.