Shattenkirk trade getting harder to make

Kevin Shattenkirk is one of the NHL's top trade candidates ahead of the deadline, but there's momentum building behind the idea that he'll stay with the Blues beyond March 1. Steve Kingsman/Icon Sportswire

Now we’re truly getting a sense of how hard it is going to be for the St. Louis Blues to get a large return for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

An NHL source confirmed that Shattenkirk nixed a contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers in the offseason, wiping out a trade with the Oilers. That’s completely understandable, as the belief all along has been that Shattenkirk wants to play in the East.

On Thursday, TSN’s Bob McKenzie and then Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Shattenkirk turned down a contract offer from a team believed to be the Tampa Bay Lightning after the Blues and Lightning completed a January trade. An NHL source confirmed that a midseason deal between the Lightning and Blues broke down when a contract extension couldn’t be reached.

When a contending Eastern Conference teams strikes out, it sheds light into how difficult a midseason extension with Shattenkirk will be.

And with July 1 closer than ever, it’s all but a certainty that Shattenkirk would shoot down any contract extension offer made by an acquiring team before the deadline.