Detroit Red Wings: 3 free agents to avoid signing in 2020

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Detroit Red Wings
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D Kevin Shattenkirk

The Detroit Red Wings require some defensive depth but should bypass veteran Kevin Shattenkirk.

Shattenkirk broke into the league with the Avalanche before quickly being sent to the St. Louis Blues in his rookie season after recording 26 points in 46 games.  He’d finish that rookie campaign back in 2010-11 totaling nine goals and 43 points playing in 72 games.

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The young right-handed defender would join the likes of Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, anchoring the Blues backend.

Shattenkirk excelled during his time in St. Louis but endured a rough patch in New York with the Rangers the year after being traded by the Blues to the Capitals as a rental defender.  In 19 games with Washington, Shattenkirk recorded 14 points in 19 games, and six playoff points in 13 contests.

Shattenkirk went on to sign a lucrative four-year $26.6 million deal that averaged $6.6 million per season with the Rangers.  Just two years into the agreement, the veteran defender saw his ice-time trimmed under 20 minutes per night, a few minutes fewer than he’d averaged during his Blues days.  During the first year of his large Rangers’ contract, Shattenkirk only appeared in 46 games, often being a healthy scratch watching the games from the press box due to poor on-ice performance.

After two seasons, the Rangers opted to buy-out Shattenkirk’s deal allowing the veteran defender to earn himself a role with the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Shattenkirk signed a one-year $1.75 million deal with Tampa, a bargain, and an opportunity for Kevin to have a chance to play his way into another payday this offseason, plus an opportunity to win a championship.

This season with the Lightning, Shattenkirk recorded eight goals, 34 points.  He skated to a tremendous 54.1% Corsi For Percentage while playing as a plus-22 player averaging nearly 19 minutes of ice-time.

Everything points to sign him, right?

I feel that the Detroit Red Wings should be reluctant to sign Shattenkirk to the multi-year deal he will expect to sign after seeing how he played as a top defender on a below-average Rangers team at the time.

In Detroit, he’d be asked to play as a top defender playing on a terrible team.  He seems best suited to play as a second-pairing defender on a good team.  He is going to be 32-years old soon, and the decline will indeed happen sometime during his next contract, and signing Kevin has the makings of another Trevor Daley, Mike Green feel to it.

Next. 3 forwards ready to breakout in 2021. dark

At this point, the Detroit Red Wings need to avoid having another high priced defender in his 30s rostered until the team is prepared to contend again.