When Kevin Shattenkirk landed in Washington after a trade deadline deal in 2017, the longtime Blues’ first-pairing defenseman had so much to look forward to. For Shatty, it was an opportunity to re-join one of his closest friends, TJ Oshie, and play for the Stanley Cup on the NHL’s best team. At that point in time, Shattenkirk had received votes for the Norris Trophy in four of the last seven years and was set to be the most prized rearguard on the free-agent market that summer.
“Lot of excitement on my end,” Shattenkirk said. “I think this was a team that I didn’t envision to [play for] and kind of in the race (to trade for me). Then, out of nowhere it just kinda came out of the blue. So, it’s been an exciting couple of hours for me.”
But despite scoring 14 points in 19 regular-season games, Shattenkirk was not a major factor for the Capitals in the 2017 playoffs beyond his Game Three overtime goal against the Penguins and this amazing quote. The team was eliminated in Round Two.
Shattenkirk’s hockey career went sideways soon after that. The New York Rangers signed their native son to a big free-agent deal that they’d later buy him out of. Barry Trotz ripped Shattenkirk in the media for his performance in Washington. Both the Capitals and Blues won Stanley Cups after he left.
But it was that low point in his career that led Shattenkirk to the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he signed a one-year, $1.75 million deal in August 2019. A little over a year later, Shattenkirk lifted the Stanley Cup for the first time.
Shattenkirk finished the 2020 postseason with 13 points in 25 games (3g, 10a), including the game-winning overtime goal in Game Four. That goal made Shattenkirk only the second defenseman in NHL history to score an overtime game-winning goal in a Stanley Cup Final.
After Tampa’s 2-0 victory on Monday, Shattenkirk was one of the most excited players on the team.
“Let’s go let’s go let’s go!” Shattenkirk screamed as he ran into the lockerroom double fisting champagne bottles.
Once there, Shatty drank out of the Stanley Cup and did some poor singing.
He also served as a waiter of sorts walking the Cup around to his teammates so they could take a sip.
— Hockey Hall of Fame (@HockeyHallFame) September 29, 2020
Back at home in Florida, Shattenkirk’s wife watched the game with the rest of the Lightning’s WAGs and celebrated their championship victory.
Shattenkirk will now become an unrestricted free agent again in a few weeks. Now with a championship on the books, his grit and determination will likely land him another big free-agent contract after revigorating his career in Tampa.
Screenshot courtesy of @shattdeuces
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