JUSTIN SCHULTZ: GETTING THE INK DONE

Robin Brownlee
August 28 2014 09:39PM

JustinSchultz

There’s been plenty of debate in recent weeks about how much the Edmonton Oilers should pay RFA defenseman Justin Schultz on a bridge deal. That isn’t likely to end when the ink is done.

While we don’t know what number GM Craig MacTavish and agent Wade Arnott will settle on – speculation has been Arnott wanted something north of $4 million a season when negotiations began, while a big chunk of the Oiler fan base believes anything that doesn’t start with a “2” is an overpay – indications today are the sides are close to a deal.

Reading between lines tweeted by Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer and Regan Bartel, the voice of the WHL Rockets in Kelowna, where Schultz and other pros have been skating (and where MacTavish has an off-season home), I’d suggest a deal is imminent and could be done as early as Friday – even if we don’t get an announcement until after the long weekend.

No matter where you come down on what Schultz, a 24-year-old with top-pairing offensive skills and take-a-seat-kid holes in his defensive game, on what will likely be a one-year deal, having him signed, sealed and delivered with weeks to spare before training camp opens is good news.

THE SCUTTLEBUTT

WhatsTheWord

Bartel, a veteran WHL broadcaster who was in the running for the radio play-by-play job with the Oilers that went to Jack Michaels after Rod Phillips retired, passed along the following on Twitter Thursday:

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Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 9.34.37 PM

Earlier in the day, Stauffer kicked things off with the following:


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THE BOTTOM LINE

bottom-line

As negotiations have gone on, debate about what Schultz is worth has run the gamut from using P.K. Subban as a comparable to an insistence by many the Oilers should take advantage of the leverage they have in dealing with a RFA who got a sweet deal from Edmonton as a UFA (I’m in that camp).

Play hardball. “We’ll pay you $2.75 million this season. Prove you’re worth more and we’ll talk next summer.” I’m fine with that. Of course, what I think should happen and what I think will happen are distinctly different. Schultz made $925,000 in salary last season. Bonuses bumped that to $3.775 million. I can see why he wouldn’t like the sound of $2.75 million.

I think $2.75 million sounds about right. That said, the Oilers have a history of overpaying and I don’t expect that to change with Arnott and Schultz. I said today on the Jason Gregor Show I think the Oilers will come in at $3.3 million. Gregor came in at $3.25 million. What’s your number?

Like I said off the top, given what Stauffer and Bartel Tweeted and what my gut tells me, my sense is we’ll find out in very short order. The Oilers likely won’t squeeze as much as they could (or should), but there is something to be said – a lot, actually – for having the ink done rather than seeing Schultz miss even a day of training camp.

WHILE I’M AT IT

OneMoreThing

. . . Drew Remenda, who’ll take over from Louie DeBrusk as the analyst alongside Kevin Quinn for Oiler broadcasts on Sportsnet, will grow on you. He knows his stuff. He’s substance over style, and that works for me. 

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 BingBong
August 29 2014, 10:10AM
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I'm guessing this means that Schultz will sign a multi-year deal for big money starting next year (as long as he plays well this year), Klefbom and/or Nurse will be ready to play, and Petry will be gone at the deadline.

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#52 A-Mc
August 29 2014, 10:15AM
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BingBong wrote:

I'm guessing this means that Schultz will sign a multi-year deal for big money starting next year (as long as he plays well this year), Klefbom and/or Nurse will be ready to play, and Petry will be gone at the deadline.

On principle alone, i would have tried to get petry signed for atleast 3 years.

This 1 year deal that leads into UFA status is a bunch of crap. You can't trade the guy because he can always walk at the end of the year. You can't drop the hammer on him because.. UFA. You basically have no leverage what so ever with this guy now that the 1 year is inked.

If petry wanted 3.5-4m for multi-year, i'm almost inclined to give it to him. He'll get that on the UFA market and atleast then he's an asset you either retain and/or trade. The 1 year is a shot to the foot.

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#53 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
August 29 2014, 10:28AM
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Whoa, just heard MacT say Jultz has Norris Trophy potential in the press conference.

Not sure I agree...

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#54 916oiler
August 29 2014, 10:28AM
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...well at least Shultz should be happy now and the Oilers aren't in a cap crunch. That's how I'm going to spin this most recent overpayment to myself.

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#55 Spydyr
August 29 2014, 10:47AM
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Mo Playoffs Mo Problems wrote:

Whoa, just heard MacT say Jultz has Norris Trophy potential in the press conference.

Not sure I agree...

Oiler player assessment.The best in the NHL.Just ask them.

Then look at their record since 2006 and make your own assessment.

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#56 2015Playoffs???Nope!
August 29 2014, 11:10AM
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Spydyr wrote:

As stated in the classic comedy Used Cars......the price is" too f-ing high."

If you don't know the movie Google Used Cars too high, it is great for a laugh.

One of my favorite movies ever! Kurt Russell in his PRIME!

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#57 Scary Gary
August 29 2014, 11:13AM
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I'd take this over Deryk freakin' Engelland at $2.91 for three years...

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#58 Zarny
August 29 2014, 11:17AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Sigh. A bit of an overpay saved by the shortness of the term. Now Shultz has to earn his long-term, big dollar contract.

How much less would he have taken had MacT kept his mouth shut and not said he was a "core" player?

LMAO...you actually think Schultz asked for more because MacT said he was a "core" player?

That's ridiculous.

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#60 Mike Krushelnyski
August 29 2014, 11:18AM
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Hope you play D as well as you negotiate, kid.

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#61 tileguy
August 29 2014, 11:21AM
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Katz money, not mine.

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#62 Serious Gord
August 29 2014, 11:23AM
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Mo Playoffs Mo Problems wrote:

Whoa, just heard MacT say Jultz has Norris Trophy potential in the press conference.

Not sure I agree...

He just can't keep his mouth shut...

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#63 Serious Gord
August 29 2014, 11:27AM
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Zarny wrote:

LMAO...you actually think Schultz asked for more because MacT said he was a "core" player?

That's ridiculous.

Did he ask for less because MacT said it?

When you are shopping for a car you wouldn't tip your hand like that. It's just a dumb way to negotiate and it gives your adversary comfort and leverage that he wouldn't otherwise have.

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#64 Harlie
August 29 2014, 11:39AM
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As expected, wish we locked for 6-7 tho, good luck on a better defensive season the Justin.

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#65 Fresh Mess
August 29 2014, 12:19PM
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LOL. Oilers

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#66 Fresh Mess
August 29 2014, 12:22PM
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Mo Playoffs Mo Problems wrote:

Whoa, just heard MacT say Jultz has Norris Trophy potential in the press conference.

Not sure I agree...

MacLooselips

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#67 Fresh Mess
August 29 2014, 12:24PM
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tileguy wrote:

Katz money, not mine.

and the Edmonton Taxpayers'

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#68 DieHard
August 29 2014, 12:27PM
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Now he just has to prove he's the second coming of Weber.

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#69 Ed in Edmonton
August 29 2014, 12:50PM
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This is about 0.5M more than I would expect for a 1 year deal.

According to Capgeek this leaves the Oil with about $M of cap space this year with 23 players signed. So its' not like an overpayment will impact their cap situation this year.

However they have about $5M in potential bonus payments. About $2.8M for Yak and maybe about $2.4 for LD. Yak's bonuses are structured such that they are as good as guaranteed. LD still has to make the team, which I don't this is a given. Bonuses are only paid at the end of the year and can be accounted either in the year they are earned or the following year. If they do need to carry over some bonus payment into next year it might have an impact then.

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#70 tileguy
August 29 2014, 12:58PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

and the Edmonton Taxpayers'

Nope. Our money was invested in downtown, a hip place where young proffessionals will want to come and live.

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#71 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 29 2014, 01:05PM
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Honestly pretty glad to hear Louie got the axe. If I had to hear him say 'blue paint' one more time, I might've thrown a beer at the TV.

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#72 Quicksilver ballet
August 29 2014, 01:09PM
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Certainly looks as though a few here have chosen their new whipping boy for the coming season.

SIUTBOYC Justin.

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#73 Ed in Edmotnon
August 29 2014, 01:13PM
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tileguy wrote:

Nope. Our money was invested in downtown, a hip place where young proffessionals will want to come and live.

Will there be age restrictions and/or means testing?

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#74 Scary Gary
August 29 2014, 01:20PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

So, compared to the worst contract of this off-season, you're fine with this. Set the bar higher.

I might argue David Bolland or Brooks Orpik were the worst contracts of the off-season but that just my opinion.

So Schultz is overpaid by $500,000; that's less than 1% of your cap to ensure someone doesn't become a camp distraction.

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#75 tileguy
August 29 2014, 01:22PM
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Ed in Edmotnon wrote:

Will there be age restrictions and/or means testing?

No age restrictions.

Means, yes!

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#76 Herb
August 29 2014, 02:50PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

TSN's Bob McKenzie reporting one year at $3.65 million. Oilers stay true to form on overpays.

Whats the negative on the signing? Its a 1 year deal. Still have roughly $4million in cap space. He remains an RFA next year. In no way does it hinder the teams performance this coming year.

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