Irresponsible Rumormongering

Exploring the Kevin Shattenkirk buyout rumor

Earlier this week, Larry Brooks made waves by stating Kevin Shattenkirk may be headed towards a buyout. The prized acquisition of the 2017 offseason, Shattenkirk was signed to a very team friendly four year deal at $6.65 million per season. The Rangers were getting a massive upgrade on the recently bought out Dan Girardi, and finally had that top pairing RD to go with Ryan McDonagh.

But that’s not what happened at all. Shattenkirk tore his meniscus in the preseason and was hampered by it all year. Alain Vigneault gave Shattenkirk/McDonagh a whopping 5 shifts together as a top pairing before relegating Shatty to 3rd pairing duties, eventually taking him off the top powerplay unit as well. Knee injury or not, this usage was downright shameful. McDonagh is now with the Lightning.

Now the Rangers are in the middle of a rebuild, and winning is second to development. Shattenkirk has two years after this one at that cap hit, and with Tony DeAngelo seemingly ready to be the puck moving defenseman who plays on PP1, Shattenkirk’s role might be diminished.

The Rangers aren’t hurting for cap space though, so the move to buy out a body that can play big minutes is a bit puzzling, especially when there doesn’t appear to be anyone in the pipe ready to jump in. DeAngelo is the clear cut best RD on the team, but after that it’s Neal Pionk and Brendan Smith. Pionk isn’t good, and Smith is fine as a 3RD.

But the buyout appears to be a possibility. Until you look at the cost. Shattenkirk’s contract has a signing bonus in 2020, which was put there as lockout protection. That complicates a buyout:

  • 2019-2020: $1.483m cap hit
  • 2020-2021: $6.083m cap hit
  • 2021-2022: $1.433m cap hit
  • 2022-2023: $1.433m cap hit

Considering the Blueshirts are not only abundant in cap space, but have no major contracts up in the next two years aside from Chris Kreider, buying out Shattenkirk just seems ill advised and short sighted. Maybe there was a handshake agreement that if the Rangers aren’t good, they would cut Shatty loose? Seems logical, considering the hometown discount, but that’s just me spitballing and trying to find logic in an illogical situation.

Something about this seems off. There is no pressing reason to buy out Shattenkirk. There is no cap space crunch. There is no roster space crunch. From what is publicly known, there doesn’t appear to be a logical reason to buy him out. There’s a lot we don’t know and we aren’t privy to, and that’s the only reason I can find for this to appear logical.

If the Rangers are dead set on buying out Shattenkirk, it’s significantly cheaper to just retain 50% of his salary and find a trading partner. I find it hard to believe that the buyout is the best option here.

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  • As I have said over and over, and no one listens, straight from the horse’s mouth (Jimmy Boy Dolan), Glenn Sather is still inc charge.

    Which means, there’s no plan. As long as he and Gordie Clark are there, we have nothing going. And on top of it, the Giants are my 2nd favorite sports’ team after the Rangers.

    2 stupid, stupid, stupid organizations. Trade one of the best players in the league? Ok, but you better get a haul for him. The Giants got a ha for OBJ.

    This is not rocket science boys and girls. At least trade a 2nd rounder for Josh Rosen and use the 2 firsts in the 2019 draft to get quality players. The best player on D and the best player on O, gone within a week. One for nothing and the other for not nearly fair value. Brutal.

    Oh, on Shatty? Either trade him without cap retention or just keep him. Plenty of other candidates to buy out thanks to the geniuses running the Rangers. They cut, trade, and give up on more players they give big contracts to than any organization I know. So pardon me if I am skeptical about this “rebuild.”

  • I am not thrilled with how Shattenkirk has played. But I find it hard to believe we can’t find a taker at half retained salary vs buying him out. I know that idea is not very appealing, but vs a buyout it’s a no brainer.

  • When Shatty’s name was mentioned as a possible UFA signing, I damn near jumped out of my seat screaming NO, he sucked at defense, and they still signed him, how stupid is that? Now we are even thinking of buying him out, or even worse retaining half his salary to trade the garbage that he is as a player, not as a person. This outfit will never learn will they? Now they are considering signing Karlsson, BULL SH*T!!!!!!!!!!!! Some things never change………………..

    • You are a big market New York team. Every time there is a high profile free agent the Rangers will be attached. See the Panarin rumors for this off season.

      • True, but that doesn’t mean we have to sign every over the hill UFA with a marquee name to a huge contract, only to be sorry after the ink dries on same contract!!!!!!! This guy, Shatty is, was, and will continue to be a lousy defenseman……………

      • Dolan flat out said that he has over 20 million to spend next season on the Rangers and he damn well will spend. Not rumors.

  • Even Brooksie is showing total frustration re this organization in his article today. I agreed with every word he said and implied. It went beyond his usual perfunctory drivel.

    When Shattenkirk signed just about everyone drooled over a McD/Shatty pairing, I know I did. Didn’t work out, we just have to suck it up for the next two years. Man, was Trotz on the money about this guy. Maybe he didn’t really give us a “hometown discount “ maybe his pickings were a little slim. We’ll never really know.

    I got many thumbs down when I said Kreider wasn’t that good… how am I looking now? I’ll say it again we missed the boat this past deadline. Man do I miss Zucc!!!

    • Cat

      Couldn’t agree more with your remark about Shatty, and Trotz, the guy stinks at defense.

      To the thumbs down crowd, please try to defend his play, you can’t, your defending maybe the man who gave us a hometown discount. As for me, he could take his discount and give it to anyone who thinks he can play defense, he can’t!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Walt…
        The more I think about it the more I become somewhat convinced that the “hometown discount” theme we hear was BS. Shattenkirk was starting to garner, through Trotz and others, a rep for bad defense. I don’t think teams and GM’s were knocking down his door, maybe I’m wrong. Was he really going to get more than 6.65 mil per. A nice payday for defensively deficient defenseman.

        • Offensive defenseman always get paid. That’s how today’s NHL is. If you guys really think Shattenkirk is the problem on this defense you a re delusional.

          • Really? I’m delusional? Here’s a guy that Quinn is sheltering by giving him most of his face off starts in the offensive zone. Sure, he leads the team in Corsi% but with 40% defensive zone starts, kinda makes sense there, no?

            I think it was Reen that said he rarely skates against other team’s top lines, I tried to verify that and to me ADA seems to be doing most of that. So probably.

            And if you don’t think a 6.65 million dollar salary for a 2nd pair pp guy that’s basically a third pairing d man isn’t a problem, then I guess I am delusional in your eyes.

            Maybe 2 years ago his perceived value was mistakenly high, not any more.

          • Yeah delusional. Marc Staal is the biggest problem on defense. He’s slow, provides no offense, and drags down anyone paired with him.

            I think DeAngelo has been the best defenseman on this team this season. Definitely a keeper and a should be a part of the defense for years to come.

          • Correct me if I’m wrong. But this article and our posts are about Shattenkirk, Not Staal or ADA. Before you call people delusional understand what their posts relate to and stop interjecting stuff that makes no sense. That’s just trolling.

            If you want to dispute the facts in my post, fine, use facts, back them up and use some sense.

          • Problem is we signed him 2 years ago. This is why I think the Org has finally learned their lesson.

          • James

            The guy can’t play a lick of defense, couldn’t shut down a pee wee kid, and your saying we’re delusional, what are you smoking man???????

      • Exactly. It’s the same thing that was done to Yandle when he was a Ranger. Offensive defenseman always get buried on the Rangers. I was hoping Quinn would be different with that stuff.

  • Like my dear friend Walt and others, I was not in favor of the Shattenkirk signing. He was, is and always will be a very sub par defender. I agree ADA has shown that Shattenkirk can be replaced. ADA is still developing and even at this point, is a better defender. The “hometown discount” was a nice gesture, but this is a business, not a family reunion. I agree that it would be prudent to trade him and retain salary. At this point it would be an addition by subtraction. I believe he can still help a team that has some backenders who can defend and can use a PP quarterback. He still has a real nice shot from the point. Third pair right side D-man with a defensive minder partner and he can add value to a team.
    On to Karlsson. I do not believe the rumors that the Rangers will be a suitor. He will demand far too much money and far too long a term. This should be a no brainer pass. I don’t care if he’s Hank’s buddy. Let them socialize in the off season.

    • I highly highly doubt Karlsson will be a Ranger next season. There is a Defensive playing in western Canada who is on the Rangers #1 want list: number 8 of the Jets.

      • I understand that it could happen, anything’s possible. But the cost for Touba this offseason and before his UFA status would be massive, it would torpedo this rebuild. And by “massive” I’m talking about one or possibly two of Miller, Kravtsov, and Nils…future number one draft picks … all in any combination Winnipeg desires. And if you sign him to a RFA “poison pill” contract we really mortgage the future.

        Trouba is established our prospects are merely prospects right now. This IMO opinion would be a huge mistake. And I like Trouba.

        • It is just not the time for this sort of move and the Rangers aren’t going to do it. 2-3 years is when they strike to win the Cup, maybe several. Have some faith peeps!

    • It’s almost always more prudent to trade while retaining salary than to buy out a bad contract, especially when those bad contracts just have 2 years left on them. Look at Girardi, he was snatched up by TB in a heart beat at 55% of his previous salary in NY —- there was a potential trade to be made there, albeit with a minor return of assets … but better that than the buyout amounts.

  • Larry Brooks is a liar who works for a paper that’s not fit to use as anything other than toilet paper. Why would anyone believe what he says about any Ranger player’s future?

    Consider his take on the Hayes saga: he’s going. He’s staying for 7 years. He’s going. He’s staying for 5 years. Consider the multitude of times he’s been wrong on rumored acquisitions.

    Dan Boyle was a terrible NY Ranger, but he was a damn fine judge of character. Larry Brooks is a piece of garbage who doesn’t operate within normal journalistic standards, who can lie without fear of consequence, because he works for people who are even lousier than he is.

    • Thank you MC, I said it the other day: nobody should listen to anything that Brooks says. He’s garbage and that’s what he spews half the time. He’s like the stock market, one day UP and one day down. I think he literally makes up half the stuff he writes … and the other half is “meh”. He reminds me of Eklund, only he writes better.

      • I so agree Tanto. Brooks to other so called know it all on Twitter and Blue Shirt Banter write and make many statements that are just noise.

  • I do not see any logic in buying out Shatty. He can hang around working the power play and sheltered minutes while they work out who their long term defenders will be.

    • Shatty must have shat in his coffee. This is the moment I wish Torts was around because he wouldn’t take an article like this lying down. 😉

      • Re: Torts vs Brooks—heh heh. Always loved how Torts hated Brooks, Torts knew what was up with both the reporter and his garbage newspaper.

        Also, if people really want to see what’s up with Brooks—go back 4, 5, 8 years into his archives and see the waves of total BS that have spewed from his keyboard. He’s gotta have less than 25% accuracy with all the rumors he’s “reported on” over the years.

  • To me, it makes more sense (monetarily) to keep Shatty and buyout Smith if you cannot trade him. Make Shatty the 3rd pair RHD and you save more CAP space down the line. Plus I think you can find more of a market for Smith if you retain some salary for a year.

    If you think about Ranger splashes, Karlsson really fits the typical Ranger splash signing that goes bad in 2 years. Will they learn from their mistakes?

  • Here is the issue I have with all the discontent with the team. It seems to me that all the anger about what the FO is going to do is based on previous bad dealings. Whether it be signings of FAs, ridiculous long term contracts w/ NTC/NMCs, or buyouts, or bad coaching. I have seen absolutely zero signs of any of these things since the “letter” and the beginning of the rebuild. In fact, I have seen a complete change in the thought process of the FO and the fact that they are committed to the rebuild. Walt and Cat are screaming about the same old same old based on what the talking/writing heads are saying. No-one in the Rangers org. has said any of this nonsense. Even Dave reacts to it and wonders why they would buyout Shatty. They are not going to, they didn’t say they were going to and all signs point to them holding firm to the rebuild. Which is the exact reason why the are not going to go after Panarin this year. Right guy, wrong time. I have confidence this organization is serious about changing the way they put a team together and until such time as they (the Org and only the Org) show me different ,and they no longer have the patience to rebuild properly, I will not condemn them. For years everyone has been screaming about going a different direction. Well, they listened and are responding. Now, you want to compete right now? Often, it is difficult to make some people happy no matter what you do. Negativity breeds negativity. I remain positive and fully support what the Org has done since the rebuild. Albeit with one caveat…Thus far.

    Patience people!

    • I trust JG and I’m not one of those people that believes Sather is controlling the FO. I’m betting Sather spends half his time on the golf course and the other half pretending to be JG’s top adviser. Gorton wouldn’t have waited up to 2 years and taken this job if he thought Sather was going to run the show, he had ample opportunity to land another GM’s job free of interference.

      • “I’m not one of those people that believes Sather is controlling the FO.”

        I really don’t know why this is so hard to believe, especially when the owner of the team says it himself.

  • Off Topic – It is no longer too early to call Lias Andersson a bust. He needs to be in the lineup and show what he has, but instead blows chance after chance and sits instead of showcasing his talents. Another poor early pick by our Ranger draft staff.

    As far as Shatty goes, we have a 7 man defensive problem. We need to upgrade at least 3 defenseman to be competitive on the blueline. Figure out a way to add 3 quality defensiemen. Not sure who is the right person to buy out, but do what you can to exchange out the current group for new faces.

    • I’d rather see 2-3 kids come up and make mistakes for a season but how can we do that with 4 -5 bad contracts on D at the moment? We will be lucky to move 1 of em without eating it or buy out.

    • I think, Sal, that it is still too early to make such a conclusion on Andersson. People were saying the same things about DeAngelo last year. Lias is 20, he has been bounced around this year. I’d like to see him get a long term shot and see what happens before arriving at an evaluation.

    • Way too early to call Andersson a bust. Jesus, he’s only 20. I know that nowadays it’s fashionable to have teenagers in the lineup, but that’s still limited to a couple of dozen at most throughout the League. You look at the 2017 draft and half those players still haven’t played a game in the NHL … and of those that have maybe 8-9 have done better than Andersson (one of those being Chytil). That’s hardly a clear cut case for Andersson being a bust compared to the rest of his class. Come back in 2-3 years and then let us all know if he’s a bust.

      • Add Pionk to that too Tanto….He is not a bad and actually inexperienced if anything as people make him out to be. Now if he doesn’t get better next year then and only then a decision must be made in regards to his future. I watch other games too and you would think we are the only team with bad d-men. That is not the case, we have a fit problem more so than a bad player problem.

        • The grass is always greener on the other team … Pionk is 23, I’m certainly not against giving him another year or so to see if he can tighten up his positional play and decision making in the defensive zone. That said I don’t think he’ll ever be better than ADA in any respect —- aside from I guess maturity. lol

        • He’s a 3rd pair guy playing 1st pair minutes. Pay him like a 3rd pair that isn’t named Shattenkirk or Zaitsev and it will be fine.

          • No argument here … on the other hand I see great talent in ADA. Guess I have a man crush. Maturity issues aside I want him signed long term now hoping he’ll grab the security and take less money. Now if the maturity issues relate to being a cancer in the room (Dougie Hamilton??? Why does every team always want to trade him), I take back what I just proposed and see if I can pull the wool over another GMs eyes … but if they’re mouthing off to officials every now and then level maturity issues, I sign him long term.

          • Tanto

            Dougie Hamilton??? Why does every team always want to trade him.

            I hear he is a loner, and likes to read. I believe it was McGuire who said that during a game on NBC/SC…………..

    • The Rangers are going to do just that, just not today or this summer. These guys will be gone upon contract expiration. Then the kids will either step in or a FA or a trade. When they go (in 2 years) the Rangers should be in a position to compete. Not just that, but also have cap space at a maximum because of not buying out.


  • Oh, for the days of being called Cassandra for pointng out Shatty was 3rd pair in StL who got PP time even before going to be 3rd pair in DC.

    He’s 3rd pair here, will be PP2 here. Give him away to Ottawa for a 7th or even take DeMelo back. They need every overpriced player available to make the salary floor next year.

  • If Gorton buys out Shattenkirk, he should be strapped to a rocket that is then fired directly into the sun. That has nothing to do with Shatty being disappointing – it has to do with the fact that there are two other Rangers defensemen who are relatively bereft of trade value, and of less value on the ice, and of less negative financial impact in a buyout, who should be ahead of Shatty in that queue.

  • I really do not care who they buy out as long as we do not have a 7 man rotation ever again. Bring up 2 kids and let them learn at the NHL level. Add them to Skjei and Tony D and I do not care who the others are, as long as we have money to sign studs.

    A 2019/20 team that still has Shatty, Pionk and Smith on the back line will be a complete failure.

  • I don’t see any buy outs for the defensemen, this is why Quinn is so exasperating, apparently the window for a defense re-org is 2 years when we can thoroughly clean house. So…. Why isn’t Lindgren up here, why wasn’t Hajek up sooner? Why is ADA jerked around? I even want to see Day for a small stretch. How about Raddysh? WHY are Staal, Smith, Shatty playing all the time? Pionk too. This is all so friggin dysfunctional.

    • This team needs 6 new faces – 3 real scoring forwards and 3 new defensemen. If we do not have that next year, we are doomed! If Lias is on the opening night 2019/20 roster, we are DOOMED. If Ruff is still coaching the defense next year, we are DOOMED!

      The next exciting activity for the Rangers is draft day, other that that, we can all sleep for 2.5 months. Will we take another goalie in the first or second round? Id we do . . . . .

    • No one said the rebuild would be easy. The time it takes isn’t just related to letting the kids develop, it also relates to getting rid of dead weight. I think if JG got an even remotely decent offer for a guy like Smith he would retain some salary and do it. Maybe the same for Shattenkirk if the right offer/team came along. At least Shattenkirk is serviceable and can play 2nd fiddle to ADA while providing some level of veteran leadership. Staal on the other hand has the full NMC/NTC and would be a harder nut to crack, but maybe he could be convinced to waive it for a trade to the right team. Not easy, not easy.

  • On The Michael Kay show yesterday, after trying to explain his way out of the Knick mishmash, James Dolan was asked about the Rangers. He said he’s “leaving it up to Glen!” A scary thought if there ever was one. But he also mentioned that the team will have $18 mil in cap space this summer and they have a mgmt staff that wants to use it. He said there are some “very interesting” free agents this summer. When he obviously couldn’t name them, Lagreca chimed in “Panarin, Karlsson..?” Dolan’s response…’you can say them, i can’t,’ or words to that effect. So, if anybody thinks that they will not try and jumpstart the rebuild by adding free agents this summer..this is something to ponder.

    • That sounds like a scary interview on multiple levels — but I’m not sure Dolan really knows what he’s talking about, they might want to use some of that money on their own players — like Buch, Lemieux and ADA. Hopefully no silly bridge deals, sign them long term while they’re still cheap(ish).

    • That would be scary… but if Sather was really in charge, I mean REALLY, don’t you think he would’ve wanted to secure one his greatest coups in his tenure as Rangers GM going forward. He would have re-signed Zucc as I think he would be proud of that accomplishment.

      I’m thinking that decision to not re-sign Zucc was Gorton’s and gives us hope that he really is the one in charge. I’m not sure Dolan is in touch with anything, especially the Rangers. He seems more occupied with the Knicks anyway.

      • Sather low-balled Zuke during his last contract negotiations and threatened to trade him if he didn’t accept his offer. Really doubt he ever considered Zuke the “coup” of his Ranger GM tenure.

  • Offensive defenseman always get paid. Today’s NHL wants defenseman that drive offense. If you guys think Shattenkirk is the issue on this defense you are delusional.

  • These are from different sources but here’s how the NYR farm system has been ranked over the past 3 years:
    2016: 29th
    2017: 23rd
    2018: 9th
    2019: with so many high picks there’s no way we’re not at least in the top 5

    Patience. We’re on the right track.

    • It is definitely nice to see these rankings headed the right way…but unfortunately, it won’t count for what it should until/unless Gorton and Quinn start evaluating talent more effectively, and in Quinn’s case, deploying said talent more intelligently. I don’t think they are the worst GM/coach in the NHL by any means…but there is still plenty to question in this area.

      • It’s easy to second guess when you’re not an eyewitness. Everyone’s a critic. None of us know the calls made, the offers presented, the details of these kid’s personalities, etc. I mean Zucc couldn’t get us a 1st rounder after that great tear he went on? ADA shouldn’t be playing in every single game? Chytil shouldn’t be on the 1st line getting 20 minutes of playing time every night?

        I think it’s fine to critique and voice one’s opinions, to disagree and to discuss … but we should always be cognizant of the limitations of our “experience”.

        • There are far fiercer critics out there than me. I’m talking about the really obvious stuff here, though, where you don’t even need the assistance of hindsight. I’m talking about things like the McQuaid acquisition, which many fans rightfully panned from the very first headline they saw. The second the thought “I’d like McQuaid on this roster” entered Gorton’s head, it was a colossally moronic idea, regardless of the cost he paid. That he gave up draft picks to acquire McQ during a rebuild was doubling-down on the stupid. I frankly have no doubt McQ would still be on the roster had they even been sniffing the playoffs.

          I’m talking about things like Pionk being deployed as basically the #1 defenseman on this team, and furthermore the Staal-Pionk pairing love affair in general – Corsica rates that as the worst first pair in hockey, which is not shocking at all. Meanwhile Claesson (clearly better than Staal) seems to have been an afterthought for Quinn from day one and ADA (clearly better than Pionk) still can’t fully shake those training wheels that he hasn’t actually needed for some time. Maybe Glen still is putting his stank all over everything Gorton is doing. Maybe Quinn is listening to Ruff too much. I don’t know, nor does it matter. Gorton and Quinn are the two ultimately responsible for such things.

          The NHL is a league rife with recycled GMs and coaches who have simply been inducted into the Fraternity of Good Hockey Men with immune reputations they never actually earned based on performance (Ruff being seen as a defensive guru when his teams have never been above average defensively is a great example). I don’t think Gorton and Quinn are anywhere near the bottom of the barrel…but, it is also fair to note, that’s a pretty deep barrel. I’d like to see these just completely nonsensical decisions by the Rangers cease. I don’t feel that is too complicated or too much to ask. You have to take risks at the highest level where the margins between good and bad can be quite slim, and mistakes will be made – I get that. There is no such thing as a perfect GM or coach; I wouldn’t be, either. Some things should be obvious from the get-go, however, and Gorton and Quinn have whiffed on some pretty easy ones this season IMO.

    • Rod, if we had gotten the 6th pick instead of the 7th in the 2017 draft I know for sure they were going to grab Elias Pettersson … that was their #1 want … and we got screwed. lol Ironically that might have set our 2019 prospect ranking back since he would have graduated out of the list.

      • tanto, like beautiful women who got away, this is the woulda, coulda that haunts us forever. Grant Fuhr taken one pick before we took James Patrick; Stephen Curry taken one pick before the Knicks took Jordan Hill; Brett Favre taken one pick before the Jets took Browing Nagle. And those are the ones I remember off the top of my head.

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