It took 16 years, but former Boston University star defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is finally a member of the Boston Bruins.
Since his first NHL Draft-eligible year in 2007, Shattenkirk has felt like he would play for the Boston Bruins. The Bruins passed on the then freshman-to-be at Boston University to pick forward Zach Hamill eighth overall. To the Bruins’ credit, they were one of 13 teams to pass on the now 15-year, 34-year-old NHL veteran before he was drafted 14th overall by the Colorado Avalanche. Bruins general manager Don Sweeney targeted Shattenkirk at the 2017 NHL trade deadline with a plan to extend the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent but failed to acquire him then and on the 2017 NHL free agent market.
Kevin Shattenkirk wound up signing a four-year contract with the New York Rangers, the team he grew up cheering for growing up in nearby New Rochelle, New York, but was bought out after just two seasons with the Blueshirts. He then signed a show me you still got it, heavily discounted one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and was a key member of the Lightning blue line in their run to the 2020 Stanley Cup in the bubble. Shattenkirk parlayed that into a three-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks that just expired, and that led to him signing a one-year, $1.05 million contract with the Bruins last Saturday.
“Don Sweeney called us and kind of laid out his thoughts on me and how I would fit with the team,” Shattenkirk said, explaining to the media on Wednesday how he finally became a Bruin. “It was pretty organic. The opportunity and the fit were what really appealed to me. Getting back to a team that’s a Stanley Cup contender was exciting. I’ve kind of lost that over the last three years, being in more of a rebuilding situation. So, getting excited about that again is great, and I think every hockey player will tell you it’s the most important thing. So, that is really what enticed me and ultimately led me to this decision.”
Shattenkirk envisions a similar role to the one he had with the 2019-20 Lightning as the one he will have for the Boston Bruins.
“I look at obviously the D corps and some of the great players we have back there, and I know that I’m probably a third pair guy,” Shattenkirk said. “Certainly if there’s any need for me to jump up and fill in via injury or whatever it might be, I’m capable of doing that. Playing minutes there five-on-five and slotting in on the second power play and being able to run that and hopefully add a little bit of depth there with the team.
And I think the other thing, especially I talked to Jim Montgomery about this, is between Hampus [Lindholm] and Charlie [McAvoy], there’s two really Norris-caliber defensemen there, and they’re still growing into their expectations as players. And I think being able to be a sounding board for them, especially in that kind of role, a power-play role or whatever, is something we discussed and something that’s kind of expected of me. So, I’ve done it before. It’d be very similar, I think, to kind of my role in Tampa when I when I went there for a year.”