With August here and the Wings still sitting on far too many forwards/not enough top defensemen, we’ve already talked about how time may be running out to make such a move to see if we can’t fix that, but ESPN’s Craig Custance has an update that caught our eye in his recent (insider-only) column about St. Louis’ summer so far. Specifically, Custance asked Blues’ GM Doug Armstrong about the Kevin Shattenkirk trade rumors. Armstrong talked up about how the rumors had potentially outgrown their own britches, but ended with this:
“He’s a Blue and we’re excited to have him and expect him to have a good year.”
A good year in St. Louis?
“Yeah,” Armstrong said, smiling. “Of course.”
Of course, we all know by now that when a general manager talks to the press about specific players and trades, he’s doing so with the full knowledge that what he’s saying is going to be printed and spread. We’ve seen Marc Bergevin tell us all about how he wasn’t shopping PK Subban a week before trading him, and we’ve seen Ken Holland do this negotiation-via-press tactic several times as well.
While this doesn’t particularly kill the chances that Holland will be able to work a reasonable trade for Shattenkirk, at the very least it’s an indication that Doug Armstrong is willing to play hardball to make the trade slightly less reasonable from the Detroit standpoint; and why shouldn’t he be? Armstrong is the one currently carrying the player. With the Blues looking to put together a contender, it wouldn’t be the worst thing for them to have Kevin Shattenkirk all season.