It’s the offseason and, with that, comes two of my favorite things as a Pens fan: watching the team party with the cup, and talk of new signings.
Each summer, NHL teams have the opportunity to make changes to their rosters and have a fresh start the new season. For the Penguins, the long road to the Cup took its toll on many players, including the defense. With Letang out, the Penguins defense was forced to play a lot more minutes than it should have. Ron Hainsey and Trevor Daley are both free agents this summer and the Pens are likely to lose at least one of them.
The team is going to need a D-man this offseason and I think that Kevin Shattenkirk would be a great pickup for a team looking to be the first team to win three championships in a row since the Islanders in the early 80s.
Say what you will about his expensive price tag, but the guy is worth it. He’s coming off a 56-point season in which he scored 13 goals and tallied an impressive 43 assists. The Pens are an offensive-minded team and Shattenkirk fits with that style of play perfectly with his ability to move the puck. He also brings a physicality to his play that I love. Just look at him absolutely destroy Chicago’s Andrew Shaw here.
Tactically, I think that Shattenkirk is a great fit both into the team’s fast style of play and as a solid physical presence. Throw away tactics and stats and I still think he would be a great pickup, solely because it would be a slap in the face to the Caps, who picked him up in an attempt to make a Cup run (we all know how that went). He may have only played 13 games with Washington this year, but there are few things more irresistible to me than the opportunity to get one of their players onboard to use against them. Who knows, Kevin Shattenkirk the Penguin could do something that Kevin Shattenkirk the Capital never did; actually make it beyond the second round of the playoffs.
Do you think Kevin Shattenkirk would make a good fit in Pittsburgh, or would you rather see someone else get signed? Contact me at my Twitter @mattgeorge01 and let’s discuss!