Kevin Shattenkirk
Kevin Shattenkirk (Billy Hurst/AP)

The Washington Capitals have acquired defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for forward Zach Sanford, a 2017 first round pick, and and a conditional second round pick.

The Blues are said to be retaining salary in the trade, but it is expected to be less than 50% of his remaining salary.

Shattenkirk, 28, has become one of the best puck moving defenseman in the NHL. He has been apart of trade rumors for quite some time now, but with his contract up after the season, teams seem to be staying away from the high price tag.

The Blues were rumored to have had a deal in place to trade Shattenkirk to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the deal reportedly fell through after he wouldn’t sign an extension. While no extension has been reported between the Capitals and Shattenkirk, he will likely hit free agency unless the Capitals can shed salary before July 1st.

The Capitals, who rank second in the league in goals per game, become even more dangerous with the addition on the back end. Shattenkirk should also make a big impact on the power play, as he has been one of the best powerplay defenseman in the NHL over the past 5 seasons, ranking just behind Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators in power play points.

The Blues continue to change their core, as Shattenkirk joins T.J. Oshie and David Backes as some of the top players moved in the past couple seasons, as well as head coach Ken Hitchcock being fired during the season. The Blues sit just two points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings, who just made a major addition, for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference. While they have not given up on the season, it looks as if they don’t see themselves as a real contender for the Stanley Cup this season.

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