from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
It is not about whether Shattenkirk — who had been receiving limited second-unit power-play time even before he suffered his shoulder separation in Tampa on Dec. 10 — merits the time over Pionk (clearly, he does not) or merits the time at all. It is about putting Shattenkirk, who will turn 30 before the end of next month and has two years at an annual $6.65 million cap hit remaining on his contract that includes a limited no-trade clause, in the best possible situation to increase — if not, establish — his value on the market. And if not on the market, then to the Rangers.
If Shattenkirk does not get substantial time on the power play — and with the team’s loaded unit that features Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Kevin Hayes — then the Rangers have a $6.65 million third-pair defenseman who gets occasional time on the power play even though running the man-advantage unit has been one of his prime assets. It is Keith Yandle on the third pair and second power-play unit. It is Bobby Holik as first-line center. It is Eric Staal at third-line left wing.
Shattenkirk failing to get a first unit assignment upon his return is self-defeating.