By Kevin Flanagan
BSD Bruins Senior Staff Writer
According to several reports, Pierre McGuire – the bespectacled big mouth, who resides between the glass of games broadcast on NBCSports during the hockey season, and can annoyingly tell you about the bowel movements of nearly every player in the league since they were six years old – told TSN Radio that he believes that soon-to-be vastly overpaid free-agent defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk will become a member of the Bruins, when free agency begins on July 1st.
If the B’s brass is actually considering backing up the Brinks truck for a slight upgrade from what they have in Torey Krug already, Jeremy Jacobs might want to take the Hall of Fame plaque he is about to receive – we will get to that farcical footnote at some other time – and whack his general manager Don Sweeney, and team president Cam Neely, over the head with it.
We have all heard the old axiom, that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting the same result. Of course, that is not the actual definition; but nevertheless, the Bruins would be insane to shell out the kind of cash that the overrated Shattenkirk is looking for.
As the trade deadline approached, last February, NBCSports.com reported that the offensive-minded defenseman turned down a trade that would have included a seven year, $42 million extension.
On February 24th, the website’s Adam Gretz wrote, “According to reports from TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Blues recently had a Shattenkirk trade in place with an Eastern Conference team that was believed to be the Tampa Bay Lightning. But when Shattenkirk turned down a long-term contract extension with the team that would have paid him $42 million over seven years, the trade fell apart.”
Given the fact that he was willing to walk away from such a solid long-term deal, it makes you wonder what exactly Shattenkirk and his agents are looking for.
In their scouting report of the player, The Hockey News breaks down his game like this:
Assets – Has excellent offensive capability and all-round acumen. Good in transition, his quickness, talent and poise with the puck are assets. Can make an impact on the power play. Not big, he is stronger than he looks and will use the body effectively in the NHL.
Flaws – Can struggle against bigger forwards in front of his own net, as he isn’t the biggest or strongest defenseman in the league. When he is not on top of his overall game, he goes into defensive slumps and can be somewhat of a liability in his own zone.
Again – hello, Torey Krug.
What the Bruins need to do this summer is shop with a beer budget, despite their fan base’s desire for champagne. They need to take a page from their tenants – the Celtics – and stay patient, while everyone expects them to make a big splash.
Not to mention, Shattenkirk’s time with the Washington Capitals didn’t exactly boost his stock. The soon-to-be high priced D-man was demoted during the playoffs with the under-performing Caps. Even his new head coach, Barry Trotz, couldn’t help but take a shot at Shattenkirk.
Trotz on Shattenkirk: "That's not good enough for what we need in that third pairing right now. Minus-7 is hard to recover from." #CapsPens
— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) April 30, 2017
Think about it this way, when it comes to free agency. Every dollar that they give an overpaid free-agent, will be one less dollar, they have to sign guys like David Pastrnak to an extension this summer; or the likes of Charlie McAvoy two summers from now, if he blossoms into the franchise defenseman, he looked like he could become this past spring.
Free-agents, in any sport, almost always disappoint. With the Eastern Conference being what it is – don’t forget, the Bruins were favored over a one-dimensional Ottawa Senators team that made it to game six of the Conference Finals – it would be foolish to sacrifice, what looks to be a very bright future, for what would likely amount to only a summer headline splash.
What cause the Bruins’ Stanley Cup runs to come to end prematurely, was the silly spending of then GM Peter Chiarelli. The team already has bad contracts weighing them down (Namely, David Krejci – 4 years at $7.5 M, David Backes – 4 years at $6M, and Matt Beleskey – 3 years at $3.8M.), they don’t need to send themselves back to salary cap prison, for something they already have.
As the old English proverb states; a fool and his money are soon parted. So, would it be foolish for the Bruins to throw their money away on Kevin Shattenkirk.
Follow on Twitter @KevinMFlanagan. Email at email@example.com