WASHINGTON — It was a surprising little bit of honesty, and it reopened a wound that had been closed for nearly two months.
Capitals coach Barry Trotz didn’t mince phrases when discussing Kevin Shattenkirk, the defenseman Washington had picked up on the commerce deadline final season and who signed a free-agent contract with the Rangers over the summer time.
Shattenkirk was hardly at his greatest throughout his few months with the Capitals, as they flamed out but once more within the second spherical of the playoffs. And he was hardly at his greatest when he began his tenure on Broadway following the signing of a 4-yr, $26.6 million deal that was lower than market worth.
However simply as issues have been settling down for the 28-yr-previous from New Rochelle, simply because the Rangers had gained six of their previous seven and 12 of their previous 15, simply as he had discovered a house subsequent to the equally gifted Brady Skjei, the Blueshirts got here to nation’s capital for a recreation on Friday night time and Shattenkirk received an unwelcome welcome from his previous coach.
“I feel everyone considered him as a 1-2 [defenseman], and he actually wasn’t,” Trotz stated on Thursday afternoon. “He was somewhat decrease.”
Trotz’s staff had simply practiced at Kettler Iceplex in Arlington, Va., they usually have been adopted by the Rangers. After the Blueshirts got here off the ice, what Trotz had stated was relayed to Shattenkirk, and he had a response that was each truthful and measured, reflective of what he has proven of his personal character so far.
“It doesn’t sit properly with you,” Shattenkirk stated. “It’s nothing that you simply take pleasure in listening to. I feel there are lots of people that in all probability assume that about me, and I like to make use of that in my favor and use that as one thing to maintain me boosted and show individuals incorrect.”
Shattenkirk needed to reply the troublesome comply with-up query regarding his self-analysis of whether or not he’s a prime-pair defenseman, and he was humble in acknowledging his personal flaws.
“I feel I’m working in the direction of it,” he stated. “I feel there’s much more room for me to develop. I feel I’ve to deal with these prime-finish matchups a bit bit higher. Once I get these alternatives, I’ve to actually make certain I make them rely.”
Shattenkirk had an exquisite alternative when the Capitals traded for him, sending prospect Zach Sanford, plus a primary-spherical decide and a conditional second-rounder, to the Blues. The Capitals have been an awesome favourite to win the Stanley Cup — however faltered once more, dropping to the Penguins in a seven-recreation,…