Kevin Shattenkirk has agreed to a four-year, $17 million extension with the St. Louis Blues, as reported by Jeremy Rutherford. Shattenkirk's deal will carry an average cap hit of $4.25 million and will keep the defenseman with the Blues through the 2016-17 season.
Chalk this one up as yet another strong move by Doug Armstrong. Seems like a regular occurrence, doesn't it?
Shattenkirk is one of the best young defenseman in the NHL. In 201 regular season games he has scored 23 goals and 86 assists. While he receives plenty of praise for his offensive abilities, he's also a reliable defenseman. He rarely makes mistakes and he consistently makes the smart, safe pass when pressured.
Shattenkirk's new contract falls right in line with what I predicted. When the Los Angeles Kings signed Slava Voynov to a new six-year, $25 million contract, it more or less set the bar for Shattenkirk. My prediction was that Shattenkirk's average cap hit would fall extremely close to Voynov's $4.166 line and that's almost exactly what happened.
For the Blues, this is yet another strong signing. They've retained one of the league's best defenseman for a reasonable price.
The Blues aren't out of the woods yet. They've addressed two major questions (Berglund, Shattenkirk), but they still have to decide on Alex Pietrangelo and Chris Stewart. Pietrangelo's contract – a matter of when he receives one, not if – is a bit easier to predict now that Shattenkirk's deal is completed. Pietrangelo deserves to make more than Shattenkirk and we now have a starting point thanks to Shattenkirk's annual $4.25 salary.