Shattenkirk felt trade attention intensified through Canadian road trip

by
Marc DesRosiers / USA Today Sports

A trip through three separate hockey pressure cookers put Kevin Shattenkirk on notice.

As the rumored No. 1 trade target for the upcoming deadline and his St. Louis Blues trekked through Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal last week, the coveted defenseman felt the spotlight shining a little brighter.

"I think last week was probably the toughest week just as far as media and the attention being in Canada," Shattenkirk told Louie Korac of NHL.com. "I want to say in a way, I have a luxury of playing in St. Louis because it's not really at the forefront, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. But it's something that I'm prepared for and I'm ready to take it day bay day and see (what) comes and goes. It's been present all year, so I think that helped me deal with it."

The added pressure didn't seem to have much of an effect on the ice, as the Blues won all three games, with Shattenkirk chipping in an assist in each contest.

Shattenkirk, 28, is in the final year of his contract, and if the deal is right, the Blues would rather trade him than risk losing him for nothing to free agency.

In 56 games, Shattenkirk recorded 11 goals and 28 assists, putting him on track to crack the 40-point plateau for the fifth time in six seasons.