Justin Schultz: One-Year Deal?

Jonathan Willis
August 19 2014 07:00AM

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As the summer drags on, Justin Schultz’s status as a restricted free agent has become increasingly conspicuous. All of the Oilers’ other in-house business seems to be done, leaving Schultz as the last item on the internal to-do list.

Is a one-year deal the way to resolve the situation?

Stauffer

In the opening portion of Monday’s show, Bob Stauffer floated the idea of a one-year contract for Schultz:

Justin Schultz: don’t be alarmed, this is an easily rectifiable situation on a short-term bridge deal. Either one – and at this stage right now maybe a one-year deal might make the most sense – or possibly a two-year deal. I do think that Craig MacTavish, the Oilers general manager and his staff, were probably willing to investigate going longer, but I’m getting a sense that maybe Don Meehan’s group thinks ‘Hey, let’s do a short-term thing and see where Justin Schultz is at.’

He further cautioned that an impasse in negotiations is not necessarily reflective of a worsening relationship between team and player.

This is not a situation like what’s going on in Columbus, where there’s been virtually no discussion with Ryan Johansen’s camp and the Columbus Blue Jackets. I think the Oilers easily can get a one-year deal done on Justin. My guess is that Newport Sports would bet that the Oilers would make some form of improvement and that Justin Schultz’s numbers correspondingly would improve as a result and that would put them in a better bargaining position carrying forward.

A Way Out

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It’s not hard to come up with a pretty decent list of reasons why this negotiation would be complex.

First, Schultz is coming off a bonus-laden rookie contract; he’s not going to be thrilled with taking a pay reduction. Second, while he’s still struggling defensively he’s a guy with significant offensive ability – and even on the blue line, players with points tend to get paid. Third, he entered the organization in a unique way (unrestricted free agency at a very young age) and now has minimal leverage. Finally, he’s only played 122 NHL games; a season and a half.

Put it all together and Schultz’s camp has significant pressure not to take a long-term deal at a low-dollar figure while the Oilers have minimal incentive to send a bunch of money his way.

Bridge deals are often used to solve these kind of logjams. One year from now, Schultz should be sitting around 200 NHL games and just maybe we’ll have seen a full season from him as part of a reasonably competitive blue line. If Schultz shines, Edmonton can feel better about paying him; if he struggles he should be amenable to a lower-end deal.

One year - presumably at a number that starts with “2” - just might be the best solution for both parties.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 wintoon
August 19 2014, 07:31AM
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While Schultz appears to have high level offensive talent, he has not yet demonstrated that he has sufficient defensive ability to warrant a mega type of deal. In the event he shows that level of talent, both offensive and defensive, the Oilers will pay and they should.

Until that happens the Schultz contract should be a fair bridge deal so that both he and the Oilers can better peg exactly what he is going to bring to the table. This would simply make good business sense.

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#2 RexHolez
August 19 2014, 07:47AM
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I'm in favour of anything that doesn't lock the oilers long term on a defenceman that can't defend

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#3 justDOit
August 19 2014, 10:06AM
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This is probably how this negotiation is proceeding:

Jultz/Agent: "We want X because Justin led his team in ice time last season - proving how important he was to the team."

MacT: "We're prepared to offer X/2, because Justin led his team in ice time last season, and that team had a -67 goal differential."

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#4 Robin Brownlee
August 19 2014, 07:44AM
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As Stauffer suggested, one year is overwhelmingly the likeliest scenario at this point. I'd put it at 90-10 it goes that way.

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#5 Gordie Wayne
August 19 2014, 08:15AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

As Stauffer suggested, one year is overwhelmingly the likeliest scenario at this point. I'd put it at 90-10 it goes that way.

Now that you and Jonathon have both basically predicted a 1 year deal, we should see an 8 year deal sometime this week...isn't that the way it works??? ;)

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#6 The Last Big Bear
August 19 2014, 07:51AM
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Justin Schultz on a one year deal at 2-point-something might be best for both sides?

Seriously?

If you were Justin's agent, you would tell him the best he can do is a one year deal as the 13th highest paid skater, and 5th highest paid defenceman? On the team where he leads all skaters in ice time, and leads the blue line in scoring?

That he should settle for a one-year deal, where he makes less than literally every non-rookie defenceman on the team? On a team that has $8m+ in cap space?

I don't know if that qualifies as "best for both sides", and id call it closer to "spitting directly in the face of the player who is relied on for more game time than any other skater on the team".

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#7 Zarny
August 19 2014, 12:12PM
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Clyde wrote:

The Core guys got 6 million dollar contracts as rfa's. Why should Schultz not expect similar money when he has been listed as one of the Core?

Simple.

His performance doesn't warrant it.

Being mentioned as a core player doesn't mean you get equal money.

To think that is beyond silly.

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#8 HardBoiledOil
August 19 2014, 08:08AM
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meh. not a big fan of the way he plays defense (or tries to?), or his lack of physical play, but we apparently need his offense so if his agent doesn't want a bridge contract, i wonder what we could get for him?

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#9 Spydyr
August 19 2014, 08:27AM
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The only thing has has proved to me at the NHL level is he is weak defensively and as Pat Quinn says "looked likes Barbara Ann Scott out there."

A one year deal works for me.

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#10 Guy Lafleur
August 19 2014, 11:05AM
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How can anyone even discuss Schultz in the same sentance as PK Subban ..Schultz couldnt hold PKs jock !!! I dont know what bargaining tools he thinks he has over the OIL ..take 900 Grrrr and thank your lucky stars they give you that much .This kid is the biggest flop since the rebuild started !!

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#11 Dave
August 19 2014, 12:15PM
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It's interesting that nobody seems to be paying attention to the fact that he held out on ANA for 2 years and jumped ship to the best possible option to showcase himself. Now that he's here and that first contract is up, it's interesting to see that he's trying to get the best possible contract situation once more. Now, we all do that, but at what point do you point to the fact that in 3 contract discussions in a row, he's willing to hit as hard as he can - all in favour of himself? I suspect he won't retire an Oiler, let's say that.

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#12 Rick
August 19 2014, 08:29AM
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Meehan's group are getting quite a reputation for playing hard ball but I am wondering if it is driven by the best interests of their clients or a desire to run up the commissions they receive on the deals ( see Suban contract) .This could be a big risk for Schultz what happens if he gets inured?? Big contract gone and do you think Meehan and Company are going to pay his bills? Not going to happen. These Agents are not acting in these kids best interests .

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#13 TigerUnderGlass
August 19 2014, 11:33AM
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Clyde wrote:

The Core guys got 6 million dollar contracts as rfa's. Why should Schultz not expect similar money when he has been listed as one of the Core?

This is amazing. Since when do all core players on a team get the exact same pay?

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#14 Woogie63
August 19 2014, 08:59AM
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Shultz, IMO, wants a $6M multi-year contract similar to what was given to Eberle, Hall and last year to an injuried RNH. MacT called Shultz out as a core player and core Oilers' players get $6M multi-year contracts.

Our management has built this bed, so we should not blame the employee for wanting consistent treatment.

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#15 Rob...
August 19 2014, 09:54AM
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Could we please switch to performance based contracts, with a base salary with adequate compensation for an average season?

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#16 Smokey
August 19 2014, 07:14AM
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Justin may have great offensive upside but they can't lock into long term contracts with players who have not prooved they can defend at the NHL level. 2-3 year bridge at 2-3 million, let him proove himself.

When you see a guy like Del Zotto almost fall by the wasteside because because he simply can't pay huge coin.

The only comparable I have seen this off season was Gardiner, but he had a bit more track record. If you offer a contract like that it is either brilliant two years from now or terrible.

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#17 TigerUnderGlass
August 19 2014, 11:31AM
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@The Last Big Bear

I don't understand why they have to pay more than the market rate to avoid slapping him in the face. If they want term they have to pay up, if he wants to avoid term he has to give up money.

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#18 Linden Likes Bike Lanes
August 19 2014, 08:46AM
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Spydyr wrote:

The only thing has has proved to me at the NHL level is he is weak defensively and as Pat Quinn says "looked likes Barbara Ann Scott out there."

A one year deal works for me.

This makes no sense to me. The kid from Westbank never played for Pat Quinn.

Quinn was probably talking about Tom Gilbert.

How could you screw that up?

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#19 Zarny
August 19 2014, 10:05AM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

How much is he worth to the Oilers?

Every other non-rookie defenceman on the team will be making north of $3m, and only one of them is on a 1-year deal.

If you can't even offer him that, you may as well get him a custom embossed coffee mug that says "Least Valued Defenceman".

"Sorry Schultzy, $3m is pretty steep, we can't break out that kind of scratch for guys like YOU. Only every single winger in the top-9, three of our four centres, and every non-rookie defenceman on the team gets a contract like that. Guys like you have to make do with what's left. Well, actually less than 1/3 of what's left. We need to keep a bunch of cap space in case we have to throw a $3m+ contract at someone else. Who's not you. Because you're not worth that much to us. Just to be clear."

I don't know whether Schultz is looking for term or not. But if he was a UFA and demanding a one-year deal I suspect he'd be getting offers in the region of 4-point-something. Given the Oilers' difficulty in attracting and retaining talent, he should be worth at least that much to them despite being an RFA. And i think its a very poor decision to try strong-arming this kid over a one-year deal. If Schultz signs it acrimoniously and walks at the end, what does it take to replace him?

Here is the thing though...Schultz isn't a UFA.

If PK Subban was a UFA 2 years he would have got a lot more than a 2 yr bridge @ $5.75M. Kadri would have gotten a lot more from the Leafs. Johansen would likely get 7 yr @ $6M/yr from someone. Ryan O'Reilly would have gotten more too.

Welcome to being an RFA in the NHL. The support group meets every third Wednesday of every second month.

It's silly to suggest the Oilers are trying to strong-arm Schultz into a 1 year deal. From the Oilers perspective a 2-3 year deal would be preferable for the simple fact that the face-plant to start last season put a stank on all things Oilers last year.

The Oilers could finish 27th with 77 PT next year and Schultz' cons would likely still look better than last season and it's highly unlikely his pros (TOI and points) take a hit putting him in a better bargaining position.

Not to mention Schultz couldn't walk anywhere after 1 year because he'd still be an RFA.

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#20 Zarny
August 19 2014, 12:18PM
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Woogie63 wrote:

Shultz, IMO, wants a $6M multi-year contract similar to what was given to Eberle, Hall and last year to an injuried RNH. MacT called Shultz out as a core player and core Oilers' players get $6M multi-year contracts.

Our management has built this bed, so we should not blame the employee for wanting consistent treatment.

Your logic is absolutely ridiculous. Being called a core player doesn't guarantee you equal money.

That's stupid beyond belief.

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#21 Harry
August 19 2014, 04:07PM
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IM80 wrote:

Scotty Bowman played Tomas Sandstrom on the 1st line with Steve Yzerman in the 1990's....does that disqualify him from forming an opinion on anything hockey related as well?

as a sidenote, how many packs of gum do you think Pat Quinn went through each game with the Oil?

Are you seriously comparing Thomas Sandstrom, a guy with 400 career goals and 850points to JF FREAKIN JAUQUES!!

Get a grip man!!

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#22 Danger Pay
August 19 2014, 07:12AM
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Early morning Fist!

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#23 Jeffer
August 19 2014, 11:30AM
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Coach wrote:

How about trading Schultz for Columbus's Johansen? It's not like Schultz adds anything defensively. Bringing in Johansen can allow the Oilers to actually develop Draisaitl for another year. To replace Schultz, we can bring up Klefbom, who can start in the bottom pairing. Or sign a 1 year deal with an unrestricted defenceman -- someone like Raphael Diaz (right shooting, puck mover, and power play guy).

Good idea. Then we can trade Arco for Crosby and get our centre situation even better. Maybe we can move Marincin for Doughty and Kopitar too. Finally we should be able to get Price out of Montreal for Bachman.

These deals are slightly more rediculous than the one you proposed. Use your head man.

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#24 clyde
August 19 2014, 03:34PM
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Schultz was on pace to have a 50 point season as a rookie def. Last year he led the team in ice time and was their top scoring def. Nuge got paid and he doesn't even have a 20 goal or 60 point season yet. Oiler management set the bar by giving 3 guys mentioned as their Core the same yearly money after their first contract. Schultz has some warts but don't the other 3? If the team doesn't have him, who will run the point on the pp? Like him or not, he is a threat that other teams have to respect and this creates space for others. I don't know what kind of money he will get but can't blame him for trying to get paid right now. Management created this problem. Just wait until next year especially if Yak scores 20.

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#25 Jeffer
August 19 2014, 11:24AM
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I can't believe people want to get rid of Schultz. He has a tremendous upside and is an offensive defenseman that can move the puck and put up 40ish points. Yes he struggles defensively but he's only played 120 games for the worst team in the league. Paul Coffey struggled defensively too. I'm not saying he is anywhere close to Coffey but why would you move a guy with this much upside? It's ludicrous! He will improve this year just by not having to play so much. Petry will improve for the same reason, as will Ference. When guys aren't forced to play above their heads all year they can actually succeed.

Now if we could only get a second line centre and get out of the running for McDavid!

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#26 j
August 19 2014, 08:33AM
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I find it interesting how polarizing Schultz is. Every team covets an offensive defenseman. The preference being that they also play great defense but there aren't that many to choose from. Good positional defense is easier to learn that offensive instincts - IMO Schultz only needs to be 'adequate' in his end of the rink to be a great asset to this team. With a stronger support cast this year and consistent coaching, I think we'll see a much better version of Schultz. 1-2 year deal is ideal.

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#27 Spoils
August 19 2014, 08:38AM
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trash away, but i'd like to see us push for the cheapest possible long deal

- the cap will go up thus the bad outcome associated with an overspend is minimized in later years on a $/player per capita basis

- i honestly believe he will get better and be more valuable and more expensive down the road

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#28 IM80
August 19 2014, 11:55AM
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Jeffer wrote:

Why would Nashville even consider making this deal? Were you heavily sedated when you wrote this?

Yes. That's what being a lifelong Oiler fan has come to. Any more questions?

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#29 JeffyJazz
August 19 2014, 12:00PM
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Trade the bum.

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#30 Quicksilver ballet
August 19 2014, 12:30PM
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Zarny wrote:

Your logic is absolutely ridiculous. Being called a core player doesn't guarantee you equal money.

That's stupid beyond belief.

One might argue RNH's and even Eberles deal could fall into that same category. Those both were deals made hoping the players would grow into, no?

Management never put either of these two on the rack (torture). Their earnings may be locked in, but what they get for their dollars is still up in the air. Schultz must be a 2nd class player vs the 1st class types maybe. Justin Schultz only proves we all love to partake in these whipping boy sessions. 120 gms into his time here and he's the new chosen one now that Sam's gone.

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#31 Big Cap
August 19 2014, 09:32AM
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This will not end well.

Either we make Schultz the new whipping boy and eventually drop him well below his value or he holds out dropping hints in the media at how bad our management is and how cold the winters are.

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#32 RDS
August 19 2014, 09:59AM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

How much is he worth to the Oilers?

Every other non-rookie defenceman on the team will be making north of $3m, and only one of them is on a 1-year deal.

If you can't even offer him that, you may as well get him a custom embossed coffee mug that says "Least Valued Defenceman".

"Sorry Schultzy, $3m is pretty steep, we can't break out that kind of scratch for guys like YOU. Only every single winger in the top-9, three of our four centres, and every non-rookie defenceman on the team gets a contract like that. Guys like you have to make do with what's left. Well, actually less than 1/3 of what's left. We need to keep a bunch of cap space in case we have to throw a $3m+ contract at someone else. Who's not you. Because you're not worth that much to us. Just to be clear."

I don't know whether Schultz is looking for term or not. But if he was a UFA and demanding a one-year deal I suspect he'd be getting offers in the region of 4-point-something. Given the Oilers' difficulty in attracting and retaining talent, he should be worth at least that much to them despite being an RFA. And i think its a very poor decision to try strong-arming this kid over a one-year deal. If Schultz signs it acrimoniously and walks at the end, what does it take to replace him?

Justin? Is that you?

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#33 IM80
August 19 2014, 12:15PM
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Zarny wrote:

Simple.

His performance doesn't warrant it.

Being mentioned as a core player doesn't mean you get equal money.

To think that is beyond silly.

I agree. Doesn't mean he won't earn $6mil in the future, but definitely not now.

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#34 Norm
August 19 2014, 08:57AM
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Make it a 2yr deal at 3.5-3.75. This separates negotiation with the Oilers home grown D (Schultz-Petry) by a year. They have already turned over 40% of their D this summer. If Petry walks next summer and Schultz can't get a deal done then, that means in 2 summers the Oilers will change about 70% of their D. Maybe good!! But sure doesn't sound like it.

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#35 Spydyr
August 19 2014, 09:41AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

You were sharing Quinn's opinion of a guy he never had an opinion on?

Okay.

Ok I will try to explain it to you:

My opinion on Shultz is a quote from Quinn:

"looked likes Barbara Ann Scott out there."

That is what I feel about Shultz.I am well aware as anyone with half a brain should be Quinn never said that about Shultz but I bet if you asked him he would agree.

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#36 Jeffer
August 19 2014, 11:27AM
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IM80 wrote:

sign him to an 8yr x 34mil deal then:

flip him to Nashville with Yakupov, Arco, a 1st & 3rd rounder for Weber, Colin Wilson, and 4th.......

done...and done, everyone's problems are solved.....

Why would Nashville even consider making this deal? Were you heavily sedated when you wrote this?

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#37 IM80
August 19 2014, 12:01PM
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Jeffer wrote:

Good idea. Then we can trade Arco for Crosby and get our centre situation even better. Maybe we can move Marincin for Doughty and Kopitar too. Finally we should be able to get Price out of Montreal for Bachman.

These deals are slightly more rediculous than the one you proposed. Use your head man.

Is Arco for Crosby that bad of a deal? Just compare their advanced stats.....i'm sure Arco's worth can be best determined that way

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#38 IM80
August 19 2014, 12:02PM
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JeffyJazz wrote:

Trade the bum.

Is K-Lowe tradable?

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#39 IM80
August 19 2014, 12:20PM
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Dave wrote:

It's interesting that nobody seems to be paying attention to the fact that he held out on ANA for 2 years and jumped ship to the best possible option to showcase himself. Now that he's here and that first contract is up, it's interesting to see that he's trying to get the best possible contract situation once more. Now, we all do that, but at what point do you point to the fact that in 3 contract discussions in a row, he's willing to hit as hard as he can - all in favour of himself? I suspect he won't retire an Oiler, let's say that.

Well said, I put forth this same sentiment a few weeks back on this site and was met with immediate "trash heap".....i suspect you will endure the same fate from us delusional Oiler fans.

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#40 Jeffer
August 19 2014, 12:44PM
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IM80 wrote:

Is Arco for Crosby that bad of a deal? Just compare their advanced stats.....i'm sure Arco's worth can be best determined that way

Hahaha well said. I almost included something about that in my post but didn't feel like listening to all the advanced stats nerds crying about it all day.

Thanks for this!

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#41 Zarny
August 19 2014, 12:46PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

One might argue RNH's and even Eberles deal could fall into that same category. Those both were deals made hoping the players would grow into, no?

Management never put either of these two on the rack (torture). Their earnings may be locked in, but what they get for their dollars is still up in the air. Schultz must be a 2nd class player vs the 1st class types maybe. Justin Schultz only proves we all love to partake in these whipping boy sessions. 120 gms into his time here and he's the new chosen one now that Sam's gone.

Your assumption that a) Schultz is being put on the rack and b) Schultz must be a 2nd class player if he doesn't get exactly what Nuge and Eberle did is silly.

Fun facts - Nuge had 52 pt in 62 games his rookie season. Eberle put up 76 pt in 78 games in his 2nd season.

Schultz hasn't been that good. It's that simple.

I'm sure the Oilers would have no problem with a longer term deal Schultz could grow into. It simply won't be @ $6M per season.

That isn't being put on the rack or being treated as a 2nd class player. It's just reality.

This isn't tiddly winks, North Korea or kindergarten. Everyone doesn't get the same.

Welcome to life.

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#42 The Soup Fascist
August 19 2014, 10:06AM
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Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

I got a great rate on a 4 bedroom defenceman

Marty Brodeur was (at minimum) a two-bedroom goalie.

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#43 Old time oil fan
August 19 2014, 07:17PM
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Zarny wrote:

Here is the thing though...Schultz isn't a UFA.

If PK Subban was a UFA 2 years he would have got a lot more than a 2 yr bridge @ $5.75M. Kadri would have gotten a lot more from the Leafs. Johansen would likely get 7 yr @ $6M/yr from someone. Ryan O'Reilly would have gotten more too.

Welcome to being an RFA in the NHL. The support group meets every third Wednesday of every second month.

It's silly to suggest the Oilers are trying to strong-arm Schultz into a 1 year deal. From the Oilers perspective a 2-3 year deal would be preferable for the simple fact that the face-plant to start last season put a stank on all things Oilers last year.

The Oilers could finish 27th with 77 PT next year and Schultz' cons would likely still look better than last season and it's highly unlikely his pros (TOI and points) take a hit putting him in a better bargaining position.

Not to mention Schultz couldn't walk anywhere after 1 year because he'd still be an RFA.

Some people just don't get it. Are you related to Kblowe? The Last Big Bear has hit the nail on the head. The oilers overpaid every D-man they signed this year and then when it comes to signing the one guy who actually chose the oil over many other teams they try to screw him just because they can. It's no wonder we have been the worst team in the league for 8 years and counting. If we continue to operate like a no class circus we will never attract desirable players. Just cause you can screw a guy it doesn't mean you should. Gee, I wonder why we couldn't attract any free agent centers?

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#44 Bigfan
August 19 2014, 09:20AM
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Rickithebear and Fresh Mess have it right - and the hype is overblown; this guy will not help the Oil become winners - its time to admit this guy is not part of the core of a successful nhl team

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#45 Ivan Drago
August 19 2014, 10:00AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Ok I will try to explain it to you:

My opinion on Shultz is a quote from Quinn:

"looked likes Barbara Ann Scott out there."

That is what I feel about Shultz.I am well aware as anyone with half a brain should be Quinn never said that about Shultz but I bet if you asked him he would agree.

You wrote what you meant incorrectly. Don't blame other posters for not getting it. Admit your mistake, reiterate your point correctly and move on.

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#46 Coach
August 19 2014, 10:23AM
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How about trading Schultz for Columbus's Johansen? It's not like Schultz adds anything defensively. Bringing in Johansen can allow the Oilers to actually develop Draisaitl for another year. To replace Schultz, we can bring up Klefbom, who can start in the bottom pairing. Or sign a 1 year deal with an unrestricted defenceman -- someone like Raphael Diaz (right shooting, puck mover, and power play guy).

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#47 IM80
August 19 2014, 11:53AM
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Linden Likes Bike Lanes wrote:

Pat Quinn tried playing JF Jacques on the first line. I truly believe that this disqualifies him from forming an accurate opinion on anything hockey related.

On a side note, I hear the Canucks are going to retire Quinn's jersey this year.

Scotty Bowman played Tomas Sandstrom on the 1st line with Steve Yzerman in the 1990's....does that disqualify him from forming an opinion on anything hockey related as well?

as a sidenote, how many packs of gum do you think Pat Quinn went through each game with the Oil?

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#48 Quicksilver ballet
August 19 2014, 02:27PM
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@Zarny

6'ish was never in the picture to begin with. They may want to take notice of the last team (Ducks) that tried to squeeze Justin into that RFA vise though. He walked away from them when he found a way. Don't understand the need to suddenly preach fiscal responsibility after the stupid deals (Nikitin) they've handed out this summer.

Ah, there's no sense us arguing about this when it's the team/management group that gave Devan Dubnyk a 2 yr 7 million dollar deal calling the shots. Nothing is easy when absurdity is the norm.

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#49 Zarny
August 19 2014, 11:00PM
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Old time oil fan wrote:

Some people just don't get it. Are you related to Kblowe? The Last Big Bear has hit the nail on the head. The oilers overpaid every D-man they signed this year and then when it comes to signing the one guy who actually chose the oil over many other teams they try to screw him just because they can. It's no wonder we have been the worst team in the league for 8 years and counting. If we continue to operate like a no class circus we will never attract desirable players. Just cause you can screw a guy it doesn't mean you should. Gee, I wonder why we couldn't attract any free agent centers?

Trying to screw him?

Good grief, give your head a shake.

First, The Last Big Bear is a Flames fan and will trash whatever deal the Oilers end up signing Schultz to.

Second, Schultz isn't entitled to anything. Based on his performance on the ice he will be well compensated. He will get ice time out the whazoo, lots of PP minutes and every opportunity to improve and make boatloads of cash.

That isn't screwing a guy. Quite the opposite actually.

Try reality sometime...you'll like it.

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#50 The Soup Fascist
August 19 2014, 08:59AM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

Justin Schultz on a one year deal at 2-point-something might be best for both sides?

Seriously?

If you were Justin's agent, you would tell him the best he can do is a one year deal as the 13th highest paid skater, and 5th highest paid defenceman? On the team where he leads all skaters in ice time, and leads the blue line in scoring?

That he should settle for a one-year deal, where he makes less than literally every non-rookie defenceman on the team? On a team that has $8m+ in cap space?

I don't know if that qualifies as "best for both sides", and id call it closer to "spitting directly in the face of the player who is relied on for more game time than any other skater on the team".

The way the system works is RFAs do not have a ton of leverage. Schultz got the $3.5 million / yr deal 3 years ago because he loopholed into what was essentially UFA status.

The shoe is on the other foot now and he does not hold a ton of cards until he is a UFA again.

The Nikitin's of the world are not $4.5 MM / year defensemen because of their talent level, but because of their free agent status. It just is the way the world works. That is why PK Subban signed the crappy deal 2 years ago.

Where the Oilers have dropped the ball is by not putting the boots to guys in their RFA years. Eberle could have been signed far cheaper, IMO. Hall is a bargain. RNH will likely be a bargain.

Hopefully the Oilers do not kowtow to the demands of a guy with no leverage. Really, where is he going to go? But Oilers management do not want to hurt anyone's feelings so expect the number to start with 3.

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