The Tampa Bay Lightning has signed free agent defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to a one-year contract.
The Tampa Bay Lightning has undergone quite a few changes in the off-season. If it seems as if Lightning Vice President and General Manager Julien BriseBois has been working overtime in order to get the Bolts primed and ready for the upcoming 2019-20 season, it’s because he probably has.
There have already been a number of moves made in order to boost the Lightning’s defense. On July 1, defenseman Anton Stralman signed a contract with the Florida Panthers leaving a huge spot open in the Lightning defense. In addition to Stralman’s departure, the Lightning also has defenseman Dan Girardi who is now an Unrestricted Free Agent.
Obviously, this left quite the hole in the Lightning’s defense. In return, the Lightning signed defensemen Luke Schenn and Luke Witkowski. Today, the Tampa Bay Lightning made another stellar move to help boost the blueline. The Lightning announced this morning the team has officially signed free agent defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to a one-year deal. The deal is worth $1.75 million.
If there is anything Shattenkirk brings to the table for the Lightning, it’s veteran experience. This is something the team could seriously use more of with the departures of players like Stralman, Girardi, and more recently, Ryan Callahan.
When the upcoming season kicks off on October 3, the 30-year-old defenseman will be embarking on his tenth season in the National Hockey League. Shattenkirk spent his first season in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche. After that, he would spend the next seven seasons with the St. Louis Blues. In five of those seven seasons, the Blues would see postseason play.
After playing 61 games with the Blue in the 2016-17 season, Shattenkirk would find himself on a one-way trip to the Nation’s Capital to play with the Washington Capitals. Following his 19 games played with the Capitals, the free agency market would lead Shattenkirk to the New York Rangers.
Kevin Shattenkirk spent the last two seasons as a member of the New York Rangers. Over the course of those two seasons, Shattenkirk played in a total of 119 regular season games where he scored seven goals and 44 assists for a total of 51 points.
The Lightning certainly has a lot to live up to after their record-breaking performance last season. The defense is one area the team has struggled with in the past. Hopefully, the Lightning’s newest additions will integrate well with the other players and give the team the tools they need in order to achieve the ultimate goal, bringing the Stanley Cup back to the Bolts Nation.