Kevin Shattenkirk is one of several high-profile free agents the Blues will have to address over the summer. While it's extremely difficult to predict how much money some of the other pending free agents will receive, Shattenkirk's value might have just been measured by a contract handed out on the West Coast.
Slava Voynov of the Los Angeles Kings just received a new six-year, $25 million contract. The defenseman will carry an average cap hit of $4,166,667 in each of the next six seasons. This deal was actually a bit under what some analysts were predicting, but it still gives us an idea of what's in store for Shattenkirk.
Shattenkirk (24) and Voynov (23) are very similar. Shattenkirk has 66 points over his last 129 NHL games while Voynov has 45 points in his last 104 appearances. Voynov excelled in the 2013 playoffs, tallying 13 points in 18 games. Both men are extremely talented young defenseman coming off of their entry level contract. Voynov's value has been determined. Will Shattenkirk's fall in line?
Voynov very easily could have carried a cap hit of $5 million or more a season, but it seems like either the Kings were strong negotiators or the defenseman took some sort of discount. Shattenkirk's deal should be similar but it might edge above the $5 million mark. It's doubtful it will rise much higher than that as the Blues will have to ensure that Alex Pietrangelo is the highest paid defenseman on the roster.
The Shattenkirk-Pietrangelo situation is similar to the Voynov-Doughty situation out in LA. Voynov was due a large raise, but the Kings knew they had to keep a decent amount of distance between Voynov's contract ($4.1 million) and Doughty's ($7 million). The case should be similar in St. Louis as Pietrangelo should see a massive deal in the $6-$8 million range and Shattenkirk's should check in just below it.