Thoughts on the Shattenkirk injury and the flurry of roster moves

kevin shattenkirk

This morning sure was exciting, wasn’t it? There was a flurry of activity for the Rangers as they prepare for their west coast trip. The first, and the most troubling, is the news that Kevin Shattenkirk will have knee surgery for a torn meniscus, and will be out indefinitely. Justin noted the timetable for this is somewhere between 4-12 weeks.

In response, the Rangers recalled Tony DeAngelo from Hartford. They also recalled center Daniel Catenacci from Hartford. The last roster move was assigning Lias Andersson to Hartford, instead of returning him to Frolunda in the SHL. Lots of stuff, so let’s dive right into it.

I’m going to save Shattenkirk’s injury for the end, because I have lots of thoughts. But let’s start with DeAngelo. First things first: About time. He had a really rough start to his Rangers career, but has turned it on lately. By all accounts he’s been much better since roughly December, and it’s shown on the ice too. It makes sense that the Blueshirts would replace Shatty with DeAngelo, since DeAngelo is the only guy who can pretend to mimic Shatty’s production.

As for Catenacci. I have no idea. I guess people are banged up?

Assigning Andersson to Hartford was the next logical step. They are preparing him for a potential recall to fill the center depth. He played through a separated shoulder in the World Juniors, so it looks like that has healed.

Now for Shatty….

The Rangers just don’t learn their lessons, ever. They allowed Dan Girardi to play through a fractured knee cap a few years ago, and he was atrocious. That came after AV said he’d rest him more. Now Shatty has had a torn meniscus since September and the Rangers did nothing about it. They gave him some pain shots.

First, this is as much on Shatty as it is on the organization. Playing hockey on one leg is downright silly. The shots are worse, since they increase scarring and make the surgery more invasive. But the Blueshirts organization, who knew he was playing through pain, never got this checked? Or they did, and let him play half a season?

And Alain Vigneault, who said that Shatty was a “work in progress” a few weeks ago. If he knew about the knee injury and still said it, then shame on him. If he didn’t know, then ignorance is bliss, I guess? This is another bad look for an organization that has made a lot of questionable calls with their players recently.

On a side note, if the Rangers were wondering if they should sell at the deadline, the Shatty injury solidifies that they should. They are down a top line forward and a top pairing defenseman with almost zero depth to handle the losses.

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  • SELL? Are you kidding? We finally have injected some kids, with more hope on the way. Now you add a scoring winger that can take is to the promise land!

    • I’ll probably get eaten alive for kinda agreeing with this…but I kinda do. Not fully…and not sure if Sal was even being sarcastic or serious, haha. But, especially if they can parlay the Kreider/Shatts injuries into some good ‘ol-fashioned Blackhawks-style cap cheating…and given that I am of the opinion that our “kids” can bring a lot more to the table than AV thinks, if he would just let them (big “if” there)…it is an intriguing thought, to me. Abuse the cap and get some manner of high end talent, sneak in, get Kreids and Shatty back conveniently just in time for the playoffs, Patty Kane style…might be a wild ride if they go that route.

  • “…. Alain Vigneault, who said that Shatty was a “work in progress” a few weeks ago. If he knew about the knee injury and still said it, then shame on him..” Shame? How about fire him.

      • And what is wrong with that? Whoever made the decision to not give a damn about playing an expensive asset, with the potential of really compromising or destroying a career deserves the punishment. Wether you like Shatty as a player or not he is human. This type of callous disregard kills player commitment and a locker room. Bye the bye, not only did AV play D Girard and his fractured knee, but also sent McD and Staal out with broken parts in his SCF. I don’t think those guys ever recovered and you could tell it with the eye test. What are these guys thinking?

        • You’re telling me the players had no part in the decison? They wanted to play. You can play with a meniscus problem without additional damage as long as you can take the pain. No one is forcing these players to play without them saying “I’m good to go.”

    • Why are you surprised?

      Do a google search. Cody Hodgson.

      He got the same AV treatment.

      History repeats itself.

      You know how you lose a locker room? Call out players playing through injury about their performance.

      • AV has a self confidence issue. People like him have to put down others to make themselves feel better.

        Add to that, that he’s never wrong or it’s never his fault and that type of coach wears out their welcome sooner than other types of coaches.

        • My brother….Was speaking to my buddy Robert the former strength conditioning coach in the NHL, he told me, players would speak to him directly rather than go to the Head coach and let the HC how bad their hurt because as you know, players do not want to come out of the lineup and potential lose their roster spot when they’re go to go again.

          • Hey bro, good info my friend.

            I don’t doubt that but how can yo hide something like this for so long?

  • Injuries suck but this may be the only way kids sniff the lineup. AV will be forced to play DeAngelo, Vinny, etc.on a regular basis … right??

    This Shatty injury really hurts. He was looking great back in October and November. I liked the signing at the time, and I still do. I was completely fine with his deficiencies on defense as long as he contributed on offense, which he was. He seemed to truly want to be here, what a crappy first year for him in NY.

    Are our trainers also working for the Mets? What the hell??

  • Shatty’s play has not been great the past few weeks. This explains a lot. Agree with all your points. The biggest knock I have on him is he seems to take an awful lot of bad penalties. I guess when you are skating with 1 good legs those things increase. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery.

  • Some injuries can and will heal over time, or at least not get worse. Some can not and will not heal over time, and will only get worse. Meniscus tears are in the latter category. I have no effing clue what the eff our effing medical staff was effing thinking, here. Or anyone else at the organizational level who allowed this. Or Shatty, although of course he wants to be a warrior. The warrior concept is a nice thought, but it’s pretty much just that. Mobility is obviously very important in hockey, and even just a slight downtick in mobility can completely change a player for the worse.

    That’s something you get ahead of and hope to minimize the damage and go for the shortest rehab time possible. The whole crew on this just did the exact opposite, apparently. Mind-boggling. It really is.

    • Relatively small meniscus tears which occur in the red zone (good blood flow) can heal on their own.

      But that does seem unlikely if you play hockey every day.

      • Fair enough; I should have said “…most often in the latter category.”. With that said, and as you point out…probably unlikely (to put it nicely) while doing something like playing professional hockey.

    • Being the warrior is fine, when it’s NECESSARY … which it never is in December (for hockey at least). I give bad grades to the medical staff, the player and the coach … why the coach? Because the coach should never just listen 100% to what the trainers and the players say. The COACH needs to observe and judge independently sometimes and it was clear that Shatty was having issues. At least this could have been taken care of before the “bye” week and he would have been back right after the All-Star Joke.

      • If it’s in April, then yeah – play through that mess, if you can tolerate it. You are absolutely correct, though – the coach has to be the judge of if said injured-but-willing player really is still more effective than other options. If Shatty was hiding this until recently, that’s on him…but based on what I’ve seen/heard, that’s not the case at all.

    • Trenchant post, Egelstein.

      The lateral mobility, ability to turn-pivot quickly is arguably the key attribute for a 21st century D-man.

      Dylan McIlrath was never able to compensate, post knee injury-surgeries. Losing that step likely cost him any shot of an NHL career, even as a depth defenseman.

      Back to the here and now: You characterize the manner in which our brain-trust treated Shatty’s injury as “mind boggling”: I’d use disgusted.

      • Good point about The Undertaker. The Rangers probably saw a good bit of Scott Stevens in him, and before his injuries, perhaps he may have eventually gotten to be that type of player. Was always a huge reach where he was taken, and yes it stings a ton that Fowler and especially Tarasenko were taken not long after…however, despite the flaw in the thought process by Slats and Co. to go after a type of player that was about to be on the endangered species list, McIlrath likely would have been a much-closer-to-average skater (for his size and build, anyways) than he ended up, had it not been for the knee problems.

  • I’m baffled by any fan who thinks Shitty was impressive at any time this season…he is a nightmare in the defensive zone with poor positioning and decision making. The meniscus tear explains why his speed and skating was so horrible…I’ll wait to see how the recovered Shatty performs and give him a pass on the first half of the season.
    We all have hope that DeAngelo will be a pleasant surprise…wonder how many other Rangers are playing with injuries??

    • Not sure if DeAngelo could play much worse … lol … but AV won’t let him play anyways.They may dress him and he may get a few shifts but one bad play and its over. I say let him play and make mistakes,screw it.He’ll learn and get better and then we’ll have a young Dman and we can get rid of Shitty and his table saving contract 😉

    • finally…someone tht has watched the games this year shattnkirk is horrible after seeing that he was only player looking at the flag AND singing the anthem before outdoor game i tried hard to like him. BUT its impossible he plays terrible then skates around talking w guys on ice as if he didn’t just make ANOTHER bad pass/decision/def play. its time to cut ties w him before no one wants him. it was bad signing anyone that ever saw him play would agree

  • It almost seems like the second half of this post proceeds based on the premise that no professional sports team has ever had players shot up with injections playing through injuries. I mean, read any of the “true about the NFL” things, seems like a pretty standard modus operandi.

    That said, my initial reaction after seeing this news on instagram was that we are definitely selling at the deadline now. Yesterday, with Nash playing so well, I thought, “Man, if he keeps this up, we gotta make another run at it.” But with today’s developments, I think he’s just boosting his trade value now.

    • For every injury that they attempt to play through and ultimately require surgery, there are 10 that players end up playing through without going under the knife. We just never hear about those!

      But hey, something bad happened so blame needs to assigned somewhere!

      As always it is assigned to AV, not the medical staff, not the GM and certainly not the player.

  • Sell wisely if they get a good return, Glad to see some of the kids getting a chance.

    FIRE AV we need a new direction.

  • On the Catenacci move: This seems really simple. The Rangers are embarking on a road trip and will be too far from Hartford for emergency call-ups if someone comes down with the flu for example. So you want 13 healthy forwards and 7 healthy defensemen. My read is that Hayes is not ready to return, the Rangers know which 12 forwards they want to dress, want Nieves to be playing hockey and Catenacci to be sitting in the press box, a veteran who will play only in case of emergency.

    That they did not recall an extra dman suggests that Staal is ready to return or at least close.

    The only remaining question is who goes to the press box – Kampfer or DeAngelo? Surely it will be Kampfer as AV would not risk criticism from BSB.

    • “Surely it will be Kampfer as AV would not risk criticism from BSB.” i would give this several more upvotes 🙂

  • Alain Vigneault, who said that Shatty was a “work in progress” a few weeks ago. If he knew about the knee injury and still said it, then shame on him. If he didn’t know, then ignorance is bliss.

    Yes sir, the best word to describe this idiot is ignorant, the man makes no sense with his moves, and the way he handles injured players. You mentioned Girardi, how about Mac Truck, and others when hurt? Time to empty the trash, can the guy!!!!!!

  • Whatever the circumstances may have been, I hope that Shatty has successful surgery and comes back healthy and pain free.

    Wishing Tony DeAngelo good luck on his return to the big club. Might take a few games for him to get integrated into the system—I hope he gets the chance to play.

  • Are the Rangers kidding? Screwing around with an important asset like this? Shatty may not have made the injury any worse but how does he go MONTHS with this problem?

    Dave is right. If anyone still question why the coach gets hammered then look no further than that stupid comment. Masking or hiding the injury? I get it, so just don’t say anything about the guy.

    If this injury doesn’t scream SELL then I don’t know what does.

    Randolph Duke: “Where’s Wilson? And tell him to SELL SELL SELL!!”

    • We don’t actually know how long he will be out. I have twice had arthroscopic surgery for a meniscus tear and the remedy was simply to cut off the dangling piece. The doctor took out the stitches after a week and said “you can’t hurt it.” There’s a little rehabilitation, but not much – for me the first time, I was better than new in less than a month IIRC.

      And for someone a lot younger (I was past 50) with commitment and carefully supervised rehab, well, Ben Roethlisberger played football less than two weeks after surgery. Maybe he was a little stiff, I didn’t see him play.

      Presumably if they actually sew the meniscus together, it is more serious.

      • Sorry about your surgeries Ray, I hope it all went well.

        At this point, and of course we do not know anything to make an opinion, but it seems to me that Shatty should probably be shut down for the year and recover 100% for next season. They’re not going anywhere anyway with all these injuries. Why rush back?

        • don’t worry about Ray, he was back on skates in 2 weeks!

          joking aside, as much as we like to say some of these guys are “soft” or “lazy,” which may be true compared to an ideal paragon of a hockey player that we envision in our heads or even compared to the average pro athlete sometimes, i like to think the reality is that 999 out of 1000 of these guys are tough as nails warrior competitors who live for the game compared to any average person and that is why they do seemingly nonsensical things like play through injuries and rush back to the lineup to help their squad even when casual observers might say oh you’re not going anywhere in the playoffs, why not rest up.

          • It’s one thing to play through injuries, but it seems like they let this thing with Shatty go on for too long. Should have been addressed earlier in the year.

            Why risk a major injury because of this?

        • They were in 1999 and 2009 — long ago.

          My point though was that recovery time may not be an issue. Healing has two components – the surgery itself and the internal repairs. For arthroscopic surgery, the healing of the incisions only takes a week. For internal recovery,healing time varies widely. If they are moving ligaments around, it takes forever. I don’t know how long it takes for a sewn meniscus to properly fuse — if they can even do that. However, if all the doctor does is cut off the part of the meniscus that is not properly contacted, there really is nothing to heal internally and it is not really a question of rushing back. In my first surgery, I lost 30-40% of my meniscus, but it had no repercussions. The problem is that if you keep ripping it, you may end up with none left. Fortunately, my second was the other knee.

      • My favorite scene:

        Randolph: Ezra, you thought I forgot your Christmas bonus. Here you are.

        Ezra: $5. Maybe I’ll go to the movies… By myself…

        Mortimer: Half of it is from me….

        First time I saw that scene I spit food out my mouth laughing. Great Holiday movie.

  • I would like to see Ryan Graves brought up from Hartford, if he doesn’ t need to clear waivers
    We need to see what these kids can do at NHL level.
    One final thing, AV needs to go…all of his non-moves have cost core players and the team dearly.

  • Tough injury for old Shattenbed, I wish him well. In Broadway tradition his understudy (the right handed offensively gifted DelAngelo) gets another shot in the bigs. It will be interesting to see if he can make the most of it. We are pulling for you Tony, don’t mess it up, we will never hear the end of it from E3.

  • Can anyone remember if Shatty had off days for practice days? I can remember Mac having a few of them but that is it. Just seems unusual. To me wouldn’t you have a ton of off days since you have been playing hurt the whole season. I could be completely off and he did, my memory is horrible.

    This is a tough break, but probably the final nail in the coffin. Kampfer is going to get all the playing time and DeAngelo will sit til he grows old. Tony looked bigger in his press release so atleast that is a good sign. Anyone else notice that tree trunk for a neck?

    Definitely a shock, was really waiting for this type of announcement about Mac. Without a doubt after this whole fiasco with letting Shatty play the whole season hurt, Mac is playing with 2 slipped discs in his back. And he probably needs a bone fusion surgery. I probably way off, but something is definitely wrong with him and has been all season.

    Here is to DeAngelo playing alot. Here is to a quick full recovery for Shatty. Here is to Rangers raping the Cap and getting a solid 2 way center fill in rental with potential to sign next season.

    In none of this pans out, at least there is a high first round pick in our future!

  • So shame on AV for not declaring shattys medical information despite the players request to play thru injury?…

  • Shatty’s Injury pretty much explains his average season.

    I like calling up the kids and seeing what you have in theory, against some good teams out west. We did move Stephan for De’Angelo, so let’s get him on the ice. He is going to make mistakes let him play through them.

    This brings me to my AV point. He doesn’t trust kids. He handled Miller and Kreider poorly when he took over the bench. My guest is back at the beginning of his tenure he would want to get rid of Miller, who today is one of there better forwards. He doesn’t let the kids play through there mistakes and learn the NHL game.

    I think the organization is at a very weird crossroads. Hank is playing at an elite level. He could steal games and series in the playoffs. But, is this team really Stanley Cup contender. In my opinion they really are not Stanley Cup contender as they stand today. Could they find lightening in a bottle and make a run… in my eyes they could make a run.

    As the team is constructed today is AV the right guy for the job? In the off season I would change coaches to a coach who has track record of developing young players.

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