The decision to end his season early last season following knee surgery was a difficult one, but one that Kevin Shattenkirk now knows was the right one.
After undergoing knee surgery in January, Shattenkirk hoped to return before season's end but ultimately decided it was better to not and just focus on this upcoming season instead.
The longer offseason has allowed the blueliner to fully recover from the injury, as he's back to normal offseason workouts on his way to preparing for his second season on Broadway.
"The rehab process is pretty much done," Shattenkirk told NYRangers.com on Thursday. "We're just in the full swing of summer workouts. I'm doing everything on my left leg that I'm doing on my right. As far as [rehab] goes, that ended mid-June, and really it's been a full month of really just going full bore, which is nice."
Shattenkirk is now only focused on what's on the horizon, one that includes reuniting with his former coach from Boston University, David Quinn.
The 29-year-old said he was flooded with texts from his teammates following Quinn's hire in May of what to expect from the new bench boss. Shattenkirk said the calls got everyone excited to learn under their new leader.
"Guys are really excited because I told them you're going to get a guy that expects a lot of work out of you and demands work ethic," he said. "Really, he's a communicator. That's something guys are looking forward to. We have a lot of young guys that need to be coached and need to learn the fundamentals and what it takes to be a winning team."
There certainly will be young players throughout the lineup this season, as was the case down the stretch last season. As a veteran, Shattenkirk is looking forward to being a face in the locker room the more inexperienced members of the roster can turn to for advice.
"I want guys to know what I'm open for questions." Shattenkirk said. "Anything they may need, I'm there to be a sound board and also establish a working example for them to watch and feed off of. The most important thing to learn at that stage of your career is just how to be consistent. When you're younger, you don't play with as much pressure. You have some good games and then you have some bad games. There's nights when maybe you're not playing that well but you're able to manage it into a decent game. That takes time, but that's what I'm here for; to teach those little lessons."