Haters Gonna Hate

Jeff Schultz Signs a 4 year Deal with the Capitals

Jeff Schultz does not recognize the haters.

Jeff Schultz says Keep On Drinkin

Washington Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz signed a four-year, $11-million extension on Wednesday, thereby avoiding salary arbitration. So it seems GMGM was not being coy when he said, We probably won’t make any changes to our defense. We’ve got seven guys ready to go.

Sorry. You probably wanted a more well known name for the Caps’ blueline. Someone like Michalek. Or Volchenkov. Or maybe even Hamhuis.

Me too. But not at the expense of Jeff Schultz, who, at 24-years old, was the first blueliner to lead the NHL in plus/minus since 2005-06, when the New York Rangers’ Michal Rozsival and the Ottawa Senators’ Wade Redden tied for the lead at plus-35.

Corey Masisak points out

By my count, b/w 16 and 18 teams will use more cap space on their 3rd-most expensive d-man than the #Caps will use on Jeff Schultz.

Think about that for a moment:

Caps are spending 3rd-blueliner money on a Top-2 defenseman.

Still not convinced?

His blocked shots per 60 minutes of ice time (5.2) puts him 15th out of all defensemen who played at least 70 games/12min per and 7th in points per 60 minutes of ice time with 1.16. What do you think that would fetch on “Free Agent Frenzy Day”?

Is Schultz the answer to the Caps woes on the blue line? Of course not. Does he add the grit the Caps needed desperately for the playoffs? No. What it gives them is a top-line option at an extremely reasonable price, that – even if they were to sign a blueliner to pair with Green next year — they would still have a moderately priced 3rd defenseman to pair with Carlson.

Time will tell, but I think this signing makes Schultz one of the NHL’s best bargains two to four years from now. If not sooner.

  • There are a lot of Shultz haters out there. I’m not one of them. Caps fans in general seem really disappointed by the lack of moves during free agency, but it makes sense to me. Caps are a pretty fantastic regular season team. Why not keep what’s working for the regular season and make adjustments at the trade deadline in the winter with playoff grit in mind? I think to some extent they tried that last year, but in my opinion getting Green-like defenseman out of Corvo was a mistake. If no changes are made in the winter, then I might get worried.

  • Pat

    That animated gif is awesome.

  • Ryan

    I’m going to point out that having an insane plus/minus with Ovi and Backstrom on the front line is not as big as a positive indicator as Schultz defenders cite. I am very angry with GMGM, we keep going to the play offs praying that our godlike offense will outscore our lackluster defense and our opponents grit, and it’s not working out for us. Every trade deadline, every UFA scramble, I watch and hope that GMGM will something (anything) to address our constant defensive end playoff woes, and watch him do nothing useful (*coughCorvo).

    I am not a Schultz fan, I’m not a Schultz hater, but I don’t think he’s the best we could have done. If you Schultz fans think that I’m just hatin’ and that he is worth passing over other candidates consider this quote from On Frozen Blog: “Something for you perhaps to meditate on during our encounters with the Atlantic division this coming season: for the grand sum of $6.5 million dollars the Capitals this fall could have dressed Gill and Volchenkov in their sweater.” …and then take a hard look back the Caps defensive performance in the last three playoff runs.

  • Peter Hassett

    Thanks, Ryan, for giving voice to that nagging feeling I have.