JUSTIN SCHULTZ: FRAMING THE ISSUE

schultz common

The Edmonton Oilers love Justin Schultz. It’s obvious, made clear in all kinds of ways. The main one has to do with time on ice—Schultz has played more minutes this season than all but 50 NHL defensemen. Schultz has not delivered enough in those situations. What will the Oilers do?

TOI EVS, 2013-14 OILERS BLUE

  1. Justin Schultz 19:05
  2. Andrew Ference 17:48
  3. Jeff Petry 17:38
  4. Phil Larsen 16:33
  5. Martin Marincin 16:19
  6. Anton Belov 15:25
  7. Ladislav Smid 15:20
  8. Nick Schultz 14:29
  9. Mark Fraser 13:50
  10. Oscar Klefbom 13:32

Interesting to see who the coach actually values, isn’t it? When we discuss ‘best Oilers defensemen’ this season, it’s likely the answers will have a wide range. I’m onside with Petry, and yet Dallas Eakins—given the choice—would rather use Schultz for two additional minutes per game. Schultz also leads in total time on ice, time on ice per game, total shifts per game and length of shift.

Justin Schultz is the Oilers top defensive option at even strength and on the power play.

justin schultz player card mar 30

Schultz is getting enormous icetime, his Corsi Rel for 5×5 % is 42.9 and that’s about three per cent worse than his mates. In summary, the Oilers have in effect taken a player who is not close to their best one and entrusted him with 19 minutes a night (or, one period per game at evens) to make a difference.

And this is his second season doing this, so we’re creating a scene that is value negative. We’re not 200 games into his career, but Justin Schultz has some issues as a possession player—and that should be an area of strength.

SO?

petry capture

The Oilers have two RFA players this summer of note along the blue.

  • Justin Schultz (Annual average salary, including bonuses): $3,775,000
  • Jeff Petry (Annual average salary, including bonuses): $1,750,000

Petry signed a shorter term deal last night for a lower amount, and now that the bridge deal is over he’ll look to cash in. Schultz had a base salary of $925,000 this season, but it’s extremely unlikely Edmonton will be able to sign him for a reasonable number. Last September, Jonathan Willis looked at signing Schultz long term and came up with a 7-year deal at $4.75 million per season.

The article is here

Schultz has not enjoyed a breakout season and the actual dollar amount might be less, but how much less? If Edmonton wants to land a big time defender—let’s say Andrei Markov—to bridge the gap between the kids and the now, how much is too much?

And if they do land Markov, and sign Schultz long term for $4 million a year (I’m estimating here), then is there enough left for Petry?

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

hayek12

I’ve been operating under the assumption that Edmonton plans to proceed with Petry-Schultz as the RH side of their blueline. However, with Aaron Ekblad in their sights and a need to improve the LH side of the blue with a Markov (or Hainsey, or both), Jeff Petry may be the player who feels the squeeze.

Can the Oilers afford to sign both Schultz and Petry long term, while also adding a Markov and an Ekblad? I don’t think they can, and if it follows that Justin Schultz is part of the rebuild, where then does that put Jeff Petry?

  • The Last Big Bear

    So, typical oiler game. Will a stud defencemen be the priority this summer? What is the one thing the oilers could do that would have the biggest impact? They lack in so many. Another night of fast forwarding the game watching the opposition run up the score.

  • GoofyGoon69

    Neither player should break the cap, but if someone makes a silly offer for Schultz (highly unlikely based on this season) I would let him solicit other offers to see how the rest of the league values him just just like MacT should have done with Gagner last year. While Petry does not have the offensive ability, he is a much better all around d-man than Schultz.

    As far as upside goes, Schultz may have already shown us the best of what he has to offer. To be honest, he is better suited to the Eastern conference, or at least someplace other than the Pacific Division where he is too small, soft, and defensively challenged to capitalize on his “potential”. This team needs more than a PP specialist right now.

    I feel sorry for him, to be honest, as the organization played him up as the next Paul Coffey on the back end which meant he had to play in the NHL right away. Looking at how much better Marincin and even Klefbom are, he would have likely benefited from a season or two with Nelson on the farm before jumping into the big leagues (which is what a good organization would have done).

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Justin Schultz should have a testicular enhancement surgery in the coming long off-season. Because of the utter lack of defence or physical component to his game I think he should make minimum wage. If the brain-trust think he is the next Coffey then they are on drugs. Another sissy college D man they don’t need. Move him. He is part of the reason our season is about to end early again. Sadly my sister has bigger balls than Schultz.