WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 21: Kevin Shattenkirk #22 of the Washington Capitals follows the puck against the Calgary Flames at Verizon Center on March 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Once upon a time, Kevin Shattenkirk appeared to be headed to the Tampa Bay Lightning. That was during the 2016-17 season when the St. Louis Blues seemed to be ready to make a deal with the Lightning in a deal that may or may not have included Jonathan Drouin.

Skipping ahead to the present day, we know a deal never panned out due to a variety of issues (many believed to be contract related) and the Blues ended up shipping Shattenkirk to the Washington Capitals ahead of the trade deadline.

Now that the frenzy of free agency sits just ahead on July 1st, the Lightning reportedly have a renewed interested in Shattenkirk and may already be talking to his agent.

The Lightning have also reportedly reached out to Dan Girardi, confirming the team’s very real interest in finding a top defenseman.

Should the Lightning land one of the top defensemen hitting the open market, it may go a long way in patching what has already been a controversial summer. The trade which sent Jonathan Drouin and a pick to Montreal in exchange for Mikhail Sergachev and a pick was met with some sour reactions from Tampa Bay fans. Even though the club was able to trade with the Vegas Golden Knights in order to move Jason Garrison at the expansion draft, leaving more valuable young defensive prospects untouched, the ill will over the Drouin trade remains palpable among Lightning fans.

Needless to say, the Lighting will need to add a major piece if they hope to improve in 2017-18. It’ll take a lot of cash to win over Shattenkirk, especially with his list of suitors growing, but the Lightning may be willing to splash out after missing out on their asset last season.

About David Rogers

Editor for The Comeback and Contributing Editor for Awful Announcing. Lover of hockey, soccer and all things pop culture.