Rangers' Big UFA Swings Finally Pay Off With Shattenkirk

It’s not often a high-profile free agent that the New York Rangers sign comes in and delivers exactly as advertised. After being burned by the likes of Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Wade Redden, and, most recently, Brad Richards, the Rangers took another shot at the big name prize when they signed Kevin Shattenkirk to a four-year, $26.6 million contract this past summer. His mission was to bring his well-documented offensive prowess on the blueline to his hometown of New York and bolster the Blueshirts power play.

Now 17 games into the season, Shattenkirk is beginning to look like the player that Rangers management had hoped for. In the midst of a six-game point scoring streak, Shattenkirk is tied with his former teammate Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues for the league lead in scoring among defensemen with 16 points. His production on the power play, to the tune of two goals and six assists—first and third among defensemen, respectively—is a major reason why.

Embed from Getty Images

Shattenkirk’s work has powered the Rangers to a 23.8% conversion rate on the man advantage, vaulting them to fifth in the league. Most of this can be attributed to his flourishing chemistry with man-on-fire Mika Zibanejad. Zibanejad and Shattenkirk have teamed up six times on the power play to create a goal, contributing to 75% of Shattenkirk’s power play points total. Their chemistry was on display right from the start of the season in the first period of the first game against the Colorado Avalanche:

Shattenkirk has so far succeeded where the likes of previous free agent power play “quarterbacks”, such as Richards and Dan Boyle, have failed. Both Richards and Boyle were never able to consistently helm production on the man advantage and establish chemistry. In 332 minutes of powerplay time as a Ranger, Boyle only was able to muster 2.89 points per 60 minutes (P/60). Richards saw more success, but still only produced 3.96 P/60 in 787 power play minutes. Shattenkirk, for comparison, is rated at 7.31 P/60 in his time so far as a Blueshirt and that is only a slight bump up from his career power play production of 6.26 P/60. This level of production on the man advantage is highest among all active NHL defensemen and is in line with players such as Evgeni Malkin (6.65), Pavel Datsyuk (6.39), Connor McDavid (6.23), Sidney Crosby (6.15), and Alex Ovechkin (5.61). That’s pretty good company to keep.

In fact, looking at Shattenkirk’s raw stats, you will see that he’s been among the top players in the league for quite some time:

It is obviously early, but if the Rangers wish to achieve their ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup, they’ll need to have a power play they can rely on. One that produces consistently. Last season, for example, they saw their power play production drop dramatically when the playoffs came around. Despite operating at a very respectable 20.2% efficiency during the regular season, it fell to a miserable 7.7% in the postseason, going 3-for-39 through 12 games. When the difference in a series can often come down to just one goal, in the postseason—where opportunities are fewer and farther between and referees notoriously swallow their whistles—it can’t be understated just how important it is that no chance is squandered.

Unlike past big-ticket free agent acquisitions, Shattenkirk came in at both a reasonable salary and term. While there’s still a significant stretch of the regular season yet to play this year, Shattenkirk is already showing the tremendous value he can add to the team’s offense.

Discussion
  1. From what I see, it's just not fair. It's unsportsmanlike for AV to play Shatty more than every other power play. It's amazing how he doesn't just create goals for others but gimmes for others.
    He's bad at defense. I think we all knew that going in. I think the Rangers were aware of that. That's not what he's brought here to do. He was brought here to run the power play and score points. He has done both. There's nothing much else that can be said. We got him for a discount and he's delivered thus far. I'm very very happy with the way he's played.
    I'm pretty cool with Shatty coming here. Before we migrated over to this forum I had mentioned that we got him at a bit of a discount. He's been really good, no doubt. His defensive prowess may not be at a 10, but he can shoot, and play a very smart game. I've noticed one thing about him, and I think Micheletti touched on it last week during either the Boston or Edmonton game;

    Shatty is a very intelligent player. He does very subtle things that guys who have played the game, or educated fans notice. He doesn't make very many mental mistakes. Turnovers and stuff like that happen, bad bounces and deflected crap aside, the guy never really seems to make a really dumb play.

    This 6 game stretch I think he's shined very well. But like any player, in a season chock full of 82 games, there will be his ups and downs. He's been pretty damn good in my eyes. Lets hope for more of the ups the rest of the way.





    Quote Originally Posted by Dunny
    View Post

    Gomez signing was actually pretty fucking awesome.

    70 points first year
    58 Points second year
    16 Points in 17 Playoff Games

    Flipped for Ryan McDonaugh

    How does it get any better?



    Didn't even come close to meeting expectations, even though you're right - in a vacuum, he was fine. And then of course McDonagh lol







    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia
    View Post

    Make that 17 points in 18 games.


    Sent from my iPhone using Blueshirts Brotherhood mobile app powered by Tapatalk



    Dude is just a beast on the power play. It's nuts.





    Quote Originally Posted by Dunny
    View Post

    Gomez signing was actually pretty fucking awesome.

    70 points first year
    58 Points second year
    16 Points in 17 Playoff Games

    Flipped for Ryan McDonaugh

    How does it get any better?



    I agree just on the flip for McDonaugh
    Gomez signing was actually pretty fucking awesome.

    70 points first year
    58 Points second year
    16 Points in 17 Playoff Games

    Flipped for Ryan McDonaugh

    How does it get any better?





    Quote Originally Posted by Sod16
    View Post

    There ought to be a macro that also includes Valerie Kominsky, Theo Fluery, Brian Skrudland, Mike Keene, Bobby Holik, Sylvain Lefebvre, Stephan Quintal etc.

    BTW, Charlie Mcavoy was fantastic at BU and jumped into his first NHL action last year playing 20 quality minutes per game. He grew up as a huge Rangers fan in Long Beach (Long Island Ranger fans are always the most hearty and defiant). We need to pull a Shattenkirk to get him one day.



    I cringe reading those names.





    Quote Originally Posted by Sod16
    View Post

    There ought to be a macro that also includes Valerie Kominsky, Theo Fluery, Brian Skrudland, Mike Keene, Bobby Holik, Sylvain Lefebvre, Stephan Quintal etc.

    BTW, Charlie Mcavoy was fantastic at BU and jumped into his first NHL action last year playing 20 quality minutes per game. He grew up as a huge Rangers fan in Long Beach (Long Island Ranger fans are always the most hearty and defiant). We need to pull a Shattenkirk to get him one day.



    I didn't want to dwell too much on the past. The Rangers' big free agent splashes have had mixed results, mostly skewing towards poor. But with Shatt, it finally seems like the Rangers got the player they were looking for.





    Quote Originally Posted by ClearedForContact
    View Post

    the likes of Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Wade Redden, and, most recently, Brad Richards

    Read more



    There ought to be a macro that also includes Valerie Kominsky, Theo Fluery, Brian Skrudland, Mike Keene, Bobby Holik, Sylvain Lefebvre, Stephan Quintal etc.

    BTW, Charlie Mcavoy was fantastic at BU and jumped into his first NHL action last year playing 20 quality minutes per game. He grew up as a huge Rangers fan in Long Beach (Long Island Ranger fans are always the most hearty and defiant). We need to pull a Shattenkirk to get him one day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *