“I wasn’t at all able to play my game,” he said. “I’ve been worried about a lot more things, trying not to disappoint a lot of people, me included in that, so it’s hard to be leaving the team. But I also feel that what I was putting out onto the ice, I wasn’t giving the guys on my team the best I had.”
Shattenkirk grew up a Rangers fan in New Rochelle, N.Y., idolizing his fellow defenseman Brian Leetch. He made it abundantly clear as a free agent last summer that he wanted to be a Ranger.
But he has struggled in recent weeks. Shattenkirk has no points in the last seven games and has not scored since Nov. 6. He also has a team-worst minus-14 rating.
Thus, he decided to opt for surgery, which will take place on Monday.
“I think this is the first step to get back to where I am and come back and have a meaningful impact on this team down the stretch,” Shattenkirk said.
The Rangers are battling for a playoff spot in a tight Metropolitan Division race. They currently have the first wild-card spot with 53 points heading into Saturday’s game in Colorado, which starts a four-game trip before the All-Star break.
The Rangers recalled defenseman Anthony DeAngelo from Hartford of the American Hockey League on Friday, along with forward Daniel Catenacci. The Rangers have also been without forward Kevin Hayes the past three games, and the veteran defenseman Marc Staal missed Thursday’s 4-3 win over Buffalo with a hip flexor injury.
DeAngelo, 22, was acquired last June from Arizona in a deal that sent center Derek Stepan to the Coyotes.
The offensive-minded DeAngelo had one assist in eight games for the Rangers earlier this season. He had two goals and 11 assists in 29 games with Hartford.
“This will give an opportunity for a guy like Tony to come up and get some ice time,” Rangers Coach Alain Vigneault said.
Vigneault also acknowledged that the Rangers would have to make adjustments in the weeks ahead without their power-play specialist on the blueline and without a timetable for his return.
The league’s trade deadline is Feb. 26, and the regular season ends on April 7.