It's nice to be wanted and Kevin Shattenkirk is now the most sought after commodity in the NHL.
The St. Louis Blues' defenceman has been involved in trade talks for some time, but up until now possible destinations have been speculation. Sportsnet is reporting that the pending UFA has a list of a dozen teams he would be willing to join via trade, including two hated rivals.
“Everybody believes he’s going to be the top UFA available. The foregone conclusion is that he will get traded,” Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos said during Saturday’s edition of Headlines on Hockey Night in Canada.
The 28-year old was believed to be gravitating toward finding a team within the Eastern Conference, where he could potentially remain on a long-term basis. Shattenkirk will be free to sign with any team as of July.1, and the native of New Rochelle N.Y. would view the Rangers or Bruins as a return to roots.
However it appears his horizons have expanded to north of the U.S border.
According to Kypreos, the former first-round pick has compiled a list of twelve teams he'd be open to and "Toronto and Montreal are on it."
"Short-term, [Armstrong] could trade him anywhere, including to any Canadian city," explained Kypreos. "But there's a belief out there that he would not be traded to a Canadian team because there was really no chance on a long-term deal moving forward. I don't hear that's the case. I think on his wish list of long-term deals, he's got about 12 teams. I'm told two of them are Canadian teams. I think it's safe to say that he doesn't envision himself being an Edmonton Oiler or a Calgary Flame, but the feeling is Toronto and Montreal."
Elliotte Friedman went on to add that the Oilers, along with the Arizona Coyotes, were granted permission to speak with the blue-liner only last summer. Despite the interest Friedman stated "neither one of those teams could strike a long-term deal."
It seems fair to say that Blues GM Doug Armstrong will be looking to deal come the trade deadline. The Blues don't appear ready to re-sign him long-term, and the team let core players David Backes and Troy Brouwer walk during last year's free agency exodus.
As it stand, Shattenkirk is on pace for a career year offensively, sitting sixth among all defenceman with 38 points. There is no shortage of teams that would be interested in acquiring a D-man with Shattenkirk's pedigree and skill-set.
Expect movement on Shattenkirk in a trade deadline blockbuster.