Lightning Taking Flyer on Kevin Shattenkirk Makes More Sense Than You Think

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 16: Kevin Shattenkirk #22 of the New York Rangers celebrates his shootout goal against the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden on October 16, 2018 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Avalanche 3-2 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Colorado Avalanche v New York Rangers | Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Since his time with the Avalanche and Blues, Kevin Shattenkirk has bounced around the Eastern Conference over the past three seasons with the Caps and Rangers. Just four days after the Rangers bought out the veteran defenseman, he's already found a new home.

Earlier Monday morning, the Tampa Bay Lightning locked up Shattenkirk on a one-year deal. Regardless of what most might say, the deal actually makes perfect sense for the defending Presidents Trophy winners.

The 2019 NHL offseason has been a busy one for the Bolts. Aside from bringing in a slew of mid-level talent, Tampa has lost their fair share of players as well.

One of those players who packed their bags was Anton Stralman. Like Shattenkirk, Stralman is a sound defenseman more notable for his work on the back end than his offensive abilities. As right-handed shots, both also frequently play the right side of the blue line.

Shattenkirk's deal with the Lightning is essentially a perfect replacement for Stralman, should they be able to revive his career after a slew of injuries the past few seasons. However, Shattenkirk is three years younger and will actually be much cheaper. With his deal coming in at an affordable $1.75 million, Shattenkirk will be nearly $3 million cheaper than Stralman, who was earning $4.5 million annually in Tampa.

Even after signing Shattenkirk, the Lightning really didn't waste much of their available cap space. By doing so, they lock up a fairly reliable d-man at a decently low price. With just over $9 million in cap space still remaining, the Bolts could still extend Brayden Point whenever they choose.

General manager Julien BriseBois continues to prove his worth in the league with a terrific 2019 offseason.