TSN insider Darren Dreger spoke to the Kevin Shattenkirk rumors in a general sense and, of course, the Toronto Maple Leafs came up.
Dreger didn’t suggest the Toronto Maple Leafs are actively after Shattenkirk, but did note his desire to play on the East Coast – which potentially puts the Leafs out of the running.
“Boston makes some sense. Maybe Philadelphia. What are the New York Rangers going to do. The Rangers are definitely in the market for a Top 4 defenseman as well. Lots of teams looking for defense. (FanRag Sports)
“So I’m not suggesting that the Toronto Maple Leafs wouldn’t or shouldn’t be in the running for Shattenkirk, but he’s going to have lots of options.” (FanRag Sports)
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Dreger also talked about the big money Shattenkirk will command as a free agent – which should have the Leafs steering clear in a big way.
Here’s the deal with Shattenkirk:
He’s a very good NHL defender, but the next contract he gets is going to be for what he’s done, and not for what he’s going to provide.
You can’t pay a guy $7M per year long term when he’s going to decline and eventually hamstring the salary cap for whoever he signs with.
The Leafs are a cap-conscious team right now and dealing assets for Shattenkirk and spending that kind of money long-term on someone who won’t fulfill expectations is a disastrous move.
If it was a team-friendly contract, say, under six million per season for around five years, then it’s easier to do. Unfortunately, that’s not realistic.
Aside from his massive payday that’s inevitable, Shattenkirk is going to be extremely expensive to acquire.
The market for defenders is pricey right now and I don’t think the Leafs would be interested in the cost to acquire for someone like Shattenkirk. We’re talking much more than James van Riemsdyk here.
In the end, Shattenkirk to Toronto is highly unlikely, but it’s bound to resurface again before the trade deadline.