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Shattenkirk follows heart, signs with Rangers

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 28: Kevin Shattenkirk #22 of the Washington Capitals skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on February 28, 2017 in New York City. The Capitals defeated the Rangers 4-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Kevin Shattenkirk is headed home.

The New Rochelle, New York native -- who, earlier this morning, was the subject of conflicting reports -- has now signed with the Rangers. Per TSN, it’s a four-year pact worth $26.6 million, one that carries a $6.65 million average annual cap hit.

The figures are extremely close to the ones initially listed by NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes, who later backed off his report after TSN’s Frank Seravalli and the New York Post’s Larry Brooks claimed it was premature and inaccurate.

Weekes had stated it was a four-year deal for Shattenkirk in New York, but with a $6.9M cap hit.

Whatever the case, the deal’s done now.

Known for his offensive abilities and power play work, Shattenkirk is a big get for the Rangers. He was named to the All-Star Game in 2015 and represented the U.S. at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and will now fill the offensive defenseman void from when Keith Yandle departed New York last summer.

With the removal of Dan Girardi (via buyout) and the uncertain future of Kevin Klein (mulling retirement), the Rangers have dramatically remodeled their defense, with Shattenkirk being the signature piece. GM Jeff Gorton also added Anthony DeAngelo from Arizona in the Derek Stepan-Antti Raanta trade, and re-upped with pending free agent Brendan Smith.

As mentioned above, this is a homecoming for Shattenkirk -- and he’s taken a hometown discount. It’s believed there were offers for more money and longer term available.

One has to think the New Jersey Devils tabled something of significance. The club had been linked to Shattenkirk and GM Ray Shero had a boatload of cap space, creating even more earlier this week by buying out Mike Cammalleri. Shattenkirk would’ve been a massive addition to the Devils’ blueline, one of the thinnest in the league.