Wednesday afternoon, Daniel Winnik and wife Taylor were relieved to find out that they were staying in Washington after the trade deadline passed.
Days earlier, the same wasn’t true for longtime St. Louis Blues defenseman, Kevin Shattenkirk. The talented puck-mover was traded to Washington along with Pheonix Copley for forward prospect Zach Sanford, Brad Malone, and draft picks. Shattenkirk, a prominent Blues player who played parts of seven seasons in St. Louis, was beloved by hockey fans in the midwest.
Perhaps his biggest fan, four-year-old Kinley Minner, cried when her father Dennis told her the news.
Dennis: “I need to tell you something, okay? Kevin Shattenkirk got traded. He doesn’t play on the Blues anymore.”
Dennis: “I’m sorry.”
Kinley: “What team does he play on now?”
Dennis: “He plays on the Capitals.”
Kinley: “I don’t want to play on the Blues anymore.”
Dennis: “If I get you another popsicle, will that make you feel better?”
Kinley: [nods her head yes]
Thursday night, the Minner family, including nine-year-old daughter Bella (who’s a giant TJ Oshie fan), was interviewed for KSDK 5’s 11pm news.
“She’s an emotional kid and likes to show a lot of emotion and reaction,” Dennis said. “Our goal – we just hope Kevin sees it. If [Kevin] can send her a message, hopefully she’ll go on and find another (favorite) player one of these days. But she can still keep liking Shatty. We’re good with her still liking Shattenkirk.”
The video has gone viral amongst Blues fans, getting tens of thousands of view over the last week.
Thursday evening, I spoke with Dennis. He told me he is a professional photographer in St. Louis. During an event with one of the players, Kinley first met Shatty.
“Last year we were at Steve Ott’s sons birthday party and Kevin walked in,” Dennis explained. “Kinley saw him in a hoodie and hat and instantly started screaming Daddy that’s Shattenkirk!! She spent the rest of the night by his side. He was so awesome with her.”
A year later, Shattenkirk remembered that night and did something special for Kinley.
“Just a few months ago I ran into him at a private cancer event and he remembered her instantly and recorded a video for me to send her,” Dennis said. “She watched it a thousand times and screamed Shattenkirk every time.”
Dennis was kind enough to share that video.
“Hi, Kinley. It’s your friend Kevin Shattenkirk. I hope you’re doing well.”
Dennis explained that his daughter fell in love with Kevin because of his creative last name.
“I remember the first time she heard the name Shattenkirk. After that, he instantly became her favorite,” Dennis said. “Pucks, pictures, yelling for him at games. Everything.”
Two summers ago, the Blues traded fan favorite TJ Oshie to the Capitals for Troy Brouwer. Blues fan Libby Lu, who was five-years-old at the time, was captured by her father having a more intense meltdown. Oshie surprised Libby on SportsCenter and later sent her a new Caps jersey. He also met up with her when the Capitals first traveled back to St. Louis.
“Kevin is an amazing guy on and off the ice,” Dennis said. “I really hope if it’s not the Blues hoisting the Cup that it’s Oshie, Shatty, and the Caps.”
Thanks to Dave Dusseau for the heads up.
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