Kevin Shattenkirk revealed recently that he had been playing with a torn meniscus since late September and underwent surgery to repair it.
He said that despite working with the Rangers training staff, he could feel his left leg getting weaker and that was preventing him from playing with the "escapability and explosiveness" he normally has in his game.
Shattenkirk said that he received a cortisone shot before the season but that it started to wear off 8-10 weeks later and that even after an attempt at PRP, the inflammation in his knee was returning.
Alain Vigneault said that he has been aware of the injury since before the season and that the hope was that the injury would improve and heal on it's own with treatment.
Prior to the game against the Islanders on 1/13, Dave Maloney said that Shattenkirk met with the coaches and management prior to the game against Arizona on 1/6 and told him to play to his strengths. (MSG)
Maloney added, "Kevin is being encouraged to be more active with the puck. It was a very man up conversation to encourage a good player for this Rangers team to be better." (MSG)
Shattenkirk said that in his chat with Vigneault they spoke about how he wasn't being aggressive enough and making the plays that allow the Rangers to play fast and create offense. (NYR)
On that meeting, Vigneault said on 1/14 "one of the reasons why felt that Shatty would be a good fit with this team is his ability to move the puck, jump up into the play, his ability to make plays with the puck, and we have to see better than what we have seen so far. We knew that defensively he could hold his own but that his biggest assets are his plays with the puck and he needs to make those to be effective."
Adam Rotter: In retrospect this all seems to make sense. Shattenkirk was nearly a point per game player through the first two months of the season and then he went into a funk, likely timed with the cortisone shot wearing off, of 6 points in just 26 games. It explains a lot about why Shattenkirk wasn't as dynamic offensively as well as why he may have been slow(er) in the defensive zone. The confusing thing with this is why Alain Vigneault talked about Shattenkirk being a work in progress/wanting him to be more aggressive when he was clearly hampered. I'm guessing that even if Shattenkirk was hampered, if he was taking a spot in the lineup, he should be able to do more of what was expected. Either way, this is something that Shattenkirk should be able to recover fully from and return to offensive form. When he returns though is in question, especially if the Rangers sell and fall out of the race.