When Kevin Shattenkirk signed with the Rangers he mentioned a few players that he liked growing up but singled out Brian Leetch in particular.
Shattenkirk said that he tried to model his game after Leetch and take different parts of what Leetch did and put them in his own game.
Shortly after signing with the Rangers, Shattenkirk's mother told the NY Post that Leetch was the player he "adored" and that Leetch was "his guy."
A few weeks later, Shattenkirk expanded, saying "I grew up loving Brian Leetch, by far my favorite player and someone that I have a lot of respect for. As I grew up and played in more USA Hockey events he became even more special to me as an American defenseman."
He added, "Brian Leetch was probably the guy that I had the utmost respect for and really aspire to be because I'm not there yet."
In an interview from right after he turned pro, Shattenkirk said "I was a fan of the New York Rangers, and Brian Leetch was my favorite player."
Former Rangers Dan Boyle and Keith Yandle also said that they grew up loving Leetch.
Adam Rotter: If Kevin Shattenkirk can have even a fraction of the impact that Brian Leetch did during his career than this will be one of the best Ranger UFA signings ever. The Rangers have tried, and mostly failed, to find a PP QB to replace Leetch since he was traded to Toronto in 2004.
Keith Yandle was probably the closest but he didn't always get time on the top PP unit when he was with the Rangers. Dan Boyle, for the most part, was a bust and so were all of the others that came after Leetch. Now the Rangers seem to have the perfect player signed to run the PP and be the offensive leader on defense.