All Aboard the Shattenkirk Train: How Did the Capitals Do in This Blockbuster Trade?

Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports

On Monday evening, the Washington Capitals sent shockwaves around the NHL universe.  Two days before the NHL Trade Deadline, the Capitals decided to add more defensive depth to their club.

The Capitals acquired defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk from the St. Louis Blues.  Here are the trade details:

Some are wondering if it was a steep price to pay for a soon-to-be unrestricted free agent.  The Capitals surrendered two high draft picks and young forward prospect Zach Sanford.


Shattenkirk, 28, was in the trade rumor mill for well over a year.  The Blues tried to re-sign him and keep him in the fold, and they even attempted to do a sign-and-trade deal with him, but he nixed that.  The New Rochelle, NY native has 11 goals and 42 points in 61 games with the Blues this year.  He has recorded 4 straight 40+ point seasons.


With recent injuries to Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen, there is no surprise that Capitals GM Brian MacLellan wanted to add some more insurance to the blueline.

Brian MacLellan has repeatedly said that the Capitals window to win the Cup is now.  The Capitals will look a bit different next season, as they have plenty of tough decisions to make with many of their key players.  While Shattenkirk will likely be a pure rental player for the Capitals, he will add some much-needed insurance to the back-end.  Last week, Brian MacLellan said that he would also like to get a 3rd goalie, and was able to get goaltender Phoenix Copley back in the Capitals organization in this trade.

If the Capitals were to go to the Stanley Cup Final, the 1st and 2nd round picks that were surrendered to the St. Louis Blues would become late round picks.  In regards to Zach Sanford, the jury is still out on him with his development as a player.  The 22-year old recorded 2 goals and 3 points in 26 games with the Capitals this season.

Sanford is not considered to be the Capitals most highly touted prospect, but he has shown glimpses of good play in recent games.  The Capitals prospect pool is not deep, but they are not thin either.


While the multiple pieces in this trade deal seems like a lot, it is a low-cost to pay for a team that is in win-now mode.  The Capitals have gotten banged up on the blueline over the past few weeks, so it understandable that the club wants to add some insurance.

Shattenkirk is a reliable powerplay quarterback, which will only make the Capitals an even more dangerous team.  Even though he will likely be a Capital for a few months, he will provide a needed scoring boost from the blueline.  Shattenkirk is a quality puck moving defenseman that is able to push the puck up the ice quickly from the defensive zone.

The Capitals are one of the deepest clubs in the league right now, and they have only added to their depth.  Brian MacLellan made a smart move, without subtracting any of the Capitals core pieces which are already in place.  In addition, the Capitals likely prevented one of their main rivals from acquiring Shattenkirk.  The Penguins and Rangers were two teams that were mentioned for his services, and that would have only hurt the Capitals if he ended up with either of those two clubs.

If the Capitals win the Stanley Cup for the first time in 2017, is sacrificing a couple of high picks and a prospect worth it?  For any diehard Capitals fan that has experienced all of the previous failures, winning the Stanley Cup would be the most satisfying thing that could happen this spring.

By: George Foussekis

About George Foussekis

I am a sports fanatic. I love hockey and football, and I enjoy writing about my two favorite sports. I am a proud Old Dominion University alum.
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4 Responses to All Aboard the Shattenkirk Train: How Did the Capitals Do in This Blockbuster Trade?

  1. Pingback: Capitals Daily Report: All In | NoVa Caps

  2. The Caps–specifically former GM George McPhee–made one of the most imbecilic trades I’ve seen in any sport over the past 20 years–namely the acquisition of future Hall-of-Famers Martin Erat and Michael Latta for the former jewel of their farm system–then 20 year old highly skilled forward Filip Forsberg–a player who recently recorded hat tricks in consecutive games and has TEN goals in his most recent six contests…

    The Capitals cannot afford to make more stupid personnel decisions in the name of short term success–which they may well have done in acquiring defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk—a superb puck carrying blue liner who is nevertheless a mediocre defender—in exchange for a young 6’4″ power forward Zach Sanford–who has better hands than Teacher’s Pet Tom Wilson—a player Barry Trotz is hopelessly enamored with, apparently.

    The problem is that if the Caps don’t win the Cup now, they will have parted with a player in Sanford who could have played power forward for them for the next 10 or 12 years in exchange for a player who, by all accounts, is no more than a three month rental (and someone who, to boot, has a bad habit of giving up pucks in his own end–something that doesn’t figure to improve your chances of winning a championship…)

    And if, God forbid, Shat gets injured, Washington once more will have wound up with NOTHING–as was the case with the Forsberg deal, since 33 year old Erat and incompetent scrub Latta were both let go, if you’ll recall…

    We’ll see how this all plays out, but I’m not encouraged…Historically, last minute additions rarely culminate in Super Bowls, World Series or Stanley Cups by the GM’s who pursue them…Even though this team is stronger, deeper and more competent than last year’s bunch I’m not confident that adding Shattenkirk will assure them of Lord Stanley’s Cup—and that’s something that I’d insist on–as if that were even possible–if I was making a deadline deal of this size and scope…

    This club already had a strong chance of winning it all prior to the trade without making overkill-type changes to the roster. And it could have been accomplished without forfeiting a good young power forward who’d likely have worn the team’s colors for many years come…Mark my words, I think this is going to backfire on the Caps…AGAIN…

    Santa Monica

  3. Pingback: Kevin Shattenkirk Suspended for Two Games | NoVa Caps

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