Boston Bruins rumors: Please don’t sign Kevin Shattenkirk

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 08: Kevin Shattenkirk
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 08: Kevin Shattenkirk /

Signing Kevin Shattenkirk might be the worst thing for the Boston Bruins can do this offseason.

Bad free agency signings are usually reserved for the Boston Red Sox, but if Don Sweeney signs Kevin Shattenkirk, the Boston Bruins will add to their case as the worst spenders in town.

Before I go on my tirade, I want to make it clear that I do think Shattenkirk is a good player, there’s a reason he was ranked the top free agent by The Hockey News. That being said, he doesn’t help the Bruins going forward.

What are we working with right now?

Here’s the current Boston Bruins D-core:







Pretty strong overall. Three of our top four are 26 or younger, so that bodes well for the future. The issues are Zdeno Chara and possibly depth. At the age of 40, how much longer can Chara really be our #1 guy? There’s gotta be an answer for his eventual demise. Depth wise, some of those guys listed could be fiable, but its unclear as I’m writing this if they’ll be ready to step up.

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Is Shattenkirk the heir to Chara’s throne?

Big no on this one. While he’s a great player offensively, Shattenkirk lacks the defensive prowess of a bonafide number one defenseman. He’s similar to Torey Krug, a great piece, but he’s not going to carry an elite unit.

Plus, the next leader of the Bruins defense is already here and his name is Charlie McAvoy. For someone to play his first NHL games in the playoffs on a top pairing is frankly bananas. Add in the fact that he did well? You got yourself a stud.

Could he round out our top four down the road?

Honestly, I still have to disagree. First of all, we already have McAvoy and Krug as our powerplay specialists. Adding another offensive defenseman is overkill, and would hurt the unit overall.

(Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images) /

Secondly, look at the age difference. Sure he’s only two years older than Krug, but why not find a solution more similar in age to McAvoy or Carlo, 19 and 20 respectively. I think that this could be Zboril, but more realistically our newest prospect, Vaakanainen. His two way game fits better than Zboril’s offensive style into the unit.

Of course, Vaakanainen isn’t ready to fill that role. For the time being it would make more sense to sign a cheaper short term guy, Daley or Del Zotto, to “bridge the gap” and keep this team competitive in the short term.

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The cap issues it would create…

Players of Shattenkirk’s level are not often available in free agency. Unlike the NBA, most NHL teams do a really good job of locking up their top players. This is why any team that wants to sign Shattenkirk will have to put up a lot of money. I’d say an AAV of 6-7 million is a conservative estimate.

For a team that has a lot of young talent coming off of rookie deals soon, big veteran free agents are a bad idea, as it could prohibit them from resigning their young studs down the road.

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At the end of the day, protecting their young core is the only route to success for the Boston Bruins. Not signing even more aging veterans.