Recently in Elliotte Friedman’s 30 thoughts he talked about the possibility of a Canadian team, like the Leafs, acquiring a defenceman like Shattenkirk.
"“Shattenkirk made it known he would not consider Edmonton long-term, but would he do it for a few months as the Oilers chase the playoffs? Why not? Montreal and Toronto would also make sense as teams that need a short-term burst. Think about it: Those clubs (or anyone else who would be interested) get a good rental. Shattenkirk gets a situation where he’s going to play a big role and make himself look even better for his upcoming free agency. (Although, as I’ve said before, other teams are convinced he wants to play for the Rangers.) Shattenkirk breaking out with Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner or Connor McDavid would be fun to see.” “The biggest hurdle to this kind of plan is what the Blues want for him. The ask has been high during previous conversations. Shattenkirk is months away from unrestricted free agency, and an extension before then seems unlikely. That generally lowers a return. The other thing to remember is St. Louis is in it to win it. If the Blues know they can add another element that helps them now, would they drop their price to get it done?” -Friedman"
Shattenkirk is an intriguing option because he would easily make the Leafs better right now and at 27 years old he still has a lot of hockey left in him. He would be the most expensive option out there because the trade market is thin and he is a right-handed shot defenceman. He is a strong offensive player with nine goals and 21 assists in 45 games. He currently has a cap hit of $4.25-million and is a pending UFA, and could stand to make between $6-7.5 million per season and possibly more depending on which teams are interested.
The Leafs will have to be careful when it comes to making a deal for Shattenkirk, but if there is a chance that he re-signs with the Leafs then it makes sense. Toronto should not be in the market for a rental player because they are not looking at a short window to compete.