Kevin Shattenkirk is putting the blame on his own shoulders after being bought out by the New York Rangers last week.
Shattenkirk, who signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, said he should have performed better in the first two seasons with the Rangers.
"I think I’m pissed off at myself for not taking advantage of the opportunity to play at home better and give them a reason to make it a no-brainer that this wouldn’t be their decision," Shattenkirk said on a conference call, per the Canadian Press.
The 30-year-old defenceman was the prized free agent of the 2017 UFA class and signed a four-year, $26.6 million contract with the Rangers. He added Monday that he was shocked by the Rangers decision to buy out his contract and pointed to injuries as a reason his time with the team did not go as planned.
"I think I have a huge chip on my shoulder right now. It didn’t work out with injuries and performance and with the way the direction of the team, the way that kind of deteriorated from when I signed on July 1 to now."
A 40-point scorer in each of his previous four seasons prior to joining the Rangers, Shattenkirk failed to top 30 points in each of his two seasons in New York.
Shattenkirk said Monday that he considered signing with six or seven teams before settling on Tampa Bay. Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois admitted that the team was not in the market for a defenceman, but changed their strategy when Shattenkirk became available.
"If Kevin hadn't become available I don't think I was necessarily…I wasn't looking to sign another defenceman at this juncture," BriseBois said. "Once that became an opportunity I owed it to the organization to do my due diligence, call the agent to see if there was interest in playing in Tampa Bay and what kind of contract he was looking for. Once we were able to agree to terms it became an easy decision to make."