On Thursday, the New York Rangers announced on Twitter that they will be buying out the contract of veteran defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

The Rangers had a 48-hour buyout window after signing restricted free agent Pavel Buchnevich to a two-year deal. With the buyout of Shattenkirk, New York was able to clear $5.1 million for the 2019-20 season.

Shattenkirk originally signed a four-year, $26 million contract (AAV of $6.65 million) with the Rangers in 2017 and was viewed as one of the top puck-carrying defensemen that the sport had to offer. The former St. Louis Blues blue liner struggled at times and battled injuries throughout his tenure in the Big Apple.

"Today's decision was a very difficult one," Rangers President John Davidson said in a press release. "Kevin is a great person and teammate and he was extremely proud to be a New York Ranger. We wish him and his family all the best going forward."

During his time with the Rangers, Shattenkirk tallied seven goals and 44 assists with three of those goals coming on the power play. Shattenkirk is coming off a season in which he scored just two goals and recorded 26 assists in 73 games. The 2007 first round pick played just 46 games in the previous season for the Rangers.

The Rangers had high hopes for Shattenkirk to be their top defender for several seasons to come, but that never materialized. Now the franchise will look to offseason acquisition Jacob Trouba to be the top defensive option.

Now the 30-year old Shattenkirk will search for a new home to continue his NHL career.