Kevin Shattenkirk was one of the biggest names to move prior to the 2017 NHL trade deadline, shifting from the St. Louis Blues to the Washington Capitals in a deal involving four total players and a couple picks. The trade signaled the Capitals were all-in, willing to pick up a major asset while potentially sacrificing future assets.
As we all know, the gamble didn’t pay off for the Capitals as they were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Barry Trotz, head coach of the Capitals, has had some time to reflect on the trade and admits that they thought Shattenkirk would be a top defenseman… only to find out he wasn’t.
Full quote from Barry Trotz on Kevin Shattenkirk: pic.twitter.com/tTo1OvoIm6
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) December 7, 2017
Trotz praises the fact Shattenkirk assisted the Caps’ power play and says that overall he was “fine” during his stint in Washington. At the same time, he admits the Capitals overvalued what he brought to the table and it showed some during the playoffs.
Saying your major trade acquisition was “fine” isn’t a ringing endorsement and won’t sit well with fans who think the team is consistently falling just short, partially due to repeated mental mistakes. It also speaks volumes that the team is publicly admitting they overvalued — and therefore overpaid to acquire — Shattenkirk. You don’t hear that type of statement too often in sports.
Shattenkirk was one of the most attractive assets heading into last year’s deadline. It’s possible that the Capitals’ desire to finally get over the hump combined with the relatively limited market caused the team to overpay. However, they should have been able to properly assess what they’d be getting even if they did have to overpay. Missing the fact Shattenkirk is a great defenseman, but not a first or second defenseman, is a big oversight.
Now, Shattenkirk is with the New York Rangers and his brief stint with the Capitals seems like a distant memory. At the very least, last year’s trade taught the Caps they need to do a better job analyzing and assessing players before making a big move.