As the countdown begins to the start of training camp and the Lightning begin preparations for the 2019-20 season, the Lightning have made a couple of roster moves the past month. Moves that will hopefully help them to reach their ultimate goal of winning a Stanley Cup.
The Lightning signed defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk to a one year contract. Shattenkirk had his contract bought out by the New York Rangers after he had two of his least productive seasons in his NHL career.
Shattenkirk had 2 goals and 26 assists for the Rangers this past season.
Shattenkirk comes to the Lightning having played in 609 career games and scoring 75 goals. He has averaged over 20 minutes of ice time in his career and has been a staple on the power play unit his entire career.
That should not change much with the Lightning as Shattenkirk should see plenty of ice time on the power play.
Until training camp starts and the defensive parings come more into focus, it is pure speculations on where and with whom Shattenkirk may be paired with.
Victor Hedman is the most likely candidate to be paired with Shattenkirk as the Lightning may elect to keep the Sergachev-Coburn pairing together.
You could also see Shattenkirk possibly paired with Coburn as the second defensive parings as Sergachev could slide to the number one unit to play along side Victor Hedman.
Shattenkirk is looking forward to playing with the Lightning.
“I think I have a huge chip on my shoulder right now, I want to show I’m back to my old self and prove that I can be a player in this league again.”
Lightning general manager Julien Breisbois is excited to have Shattenkirk and thinks that he can become the player we saw in Shattenkirk before the injuries took their toll. “After a full summer of training when he’s healthy and he feels confident in his leg, we expect him to be a strong contributor for our team this coming season.”
The Lightning defensive corp is better with the signing of Shattenkirk.
In a minor deal last week, the Lightning traded forward Adam Erne to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a fourth round pick in the 2020 draft.
Erne played in 65 games for the Lightning this past season scoring seven goals and collecting 20 points.
This opens up a forward spot on the roster and there will be plenty of competition for that spot from some of the young talent at Syracuse.
Carter Verhaeghe, Taylor Raddysh, and Alex Barre-Boulet are the top three candidates, but do not rule out Cory Conacher who is back for a second tour of duty with the Lightning and Alex Volkov.
One other piece of business that needs to be taken care of in the next few weeks in the signing of Brayden Point to a new contract.
Breisbois said at the end of last season that he was confidant a deal would get done over the summer. With training camp just weeks away, time is running out to get that deal done.