St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk expects to be the subject of trade rumors all season, he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in remarks published Monday.
Shattenkirk can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, leading to the speculation if the sides cannot agree on a contract, St. Louis could trade him rather than lose him for nothing in return.
"This is something that I think is going to go on all year, it's always a story that people are going to run with," Shattenkirk said. "But for me, I can only control what I do on the ice, and if I'm giving 100 percent out there, whatever happens, happens. I can control it to a certain point, but if something is going to go down, it's going to go down."
The newspaper said Shattenkirk was part of offseason trade talks with the Edmonton Oilers involving forward Taylor Hall, who was traded to the New Jersey Devils for defenseman Adam Larsson on June 29.
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"Most players only get one kick at the can with this situation, going to free agency," Shattenkirk said. "I don't want to say 'Make the deal' to make the deal. I want to make sure it's somewhere I want to be. It's just a matter of control, and when you have that little bit of control, you want to use that as best as possible. If I'm not going to be [in St. Louis], I want to be somewhere that I enjoy for the next however many years of my life."
Shattenkirk, 27, has one season remaining at an NHL salary-cap charge of $4.25 million, according to General Fanager. He was named a Blues alternate captain under captain Alex Pietrangelo this offseason.
Last season, Shattenkirk had 44 points (14 goals, 30 assists) in 72 games, his fifth full season with St. Louis after he was traded there by the Colorado Avalanche as a rookie in 2010-11.
"If it is my last year, it would hurt, no doubt, leaving a lot of buddies," he said. "But it's been a [heck] of a time, and I think that's the mentality that I've brought into camp. I don't want to let anyone down and I don't want to have anything in the back of my mind that's going to keep me from playing my best hockey."