Report: Blues' Shattenkirk 'in play on the trade front'

Jeff Curry / USA TODAY Sports

Here's another name to toss around as the NHL's Feb. 29 trade deadline inches closer: St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. His "name is in play on the trade front," reports Craig Custance in an insider-only piece at ESPN.

It's not that the Blues don't want to keep Shattenkirk around, Custance writes, it's that his contract - with a cap hit of $4.25 million - is up after the 2016-17 season, and the Blues are on a budget. Long-term salaries for Alex Pietrangelo - signed through 2019-20 at a cap hit of $6.5 million - and Jay Bouwmeester - locked up through 2018-19 at $5.4 million against the cap - are complicating matters.

Since Shattenkirk isn't a rental, he could play out the season in St. Louis, Custance adds, with the team potentially exploring an offseason trade. Either way, the soon-to-be 27-year-old will be a hot commodity as a right-handed shot who can work a power play.

Shattenkirk has eight goals - as many as he scored last season in 56 games - and 25 points in only 33 games. Fifteen of those points (four goals, 11 assists) have come with the man advantage. He's on pace to easily surpass his career high of 45 points, set two seasons ago.