Jeff Schultz has a good, strong German name with lots of consonants, which makes it very satisfying to yell. This is fortunate, since we yelled his name a lot this season. If you yell it angrily enough, it almost feels like swearing, doesn’t it? We appreciate the small blessings.
Cap Hit: $2.75 M. Jeff Schultz is signed through 2013-14, and he will be UFA after the expiration of that contract.
Best Moment: Schultz had a couple of moments when it looked like he could be picking up the Dale Hunter spirit, including the February game against the Panthers where he was on fire, defending, hitting hard, and even drawing a boarding call. Yes, that Jeff Schultz.
Things We Said About Jeff Schultz: “Just HIT HIM, Jeff, he’s RIGHT THERE.”
First Irrelevant Google Images Result:
Media Consensus: “A Wideman-Schultz defensive pairing may not be the best idea.”
Spirit Animal: Beaker.
Alternate Universe Superhero Identity: Sarge
Team Role: Top-four, positional defenseman with good reach.
Execution of that Role: Schultz didn’t meet the exacting standards of Hunter Hockey, and had to stay after class for special tutoring with Jim Johnson while the other kids all went to recess. After an intense rehaul of his entire being, Schultz once again made it into the lineup for short stretches, and then on a regular basis. Unfortunately, there did not seem to be any permanent improvement — instead he got worse, becoming a weak spot to be exploited in two different systems trying to emphasize defense. On the upside, there were none of these:
Postseason Performance: Schultz began the playoffs as a part of the lineup, but defensive errors sent him back to the press box by Game Four of the first round. He got back on the ice for Game Seven and played all but one of game of the second round, and in ten games somehow managed to never be on the ice for a goal scored by the Caps.
Photo credit: Cheryl Nichols.
Patchy but not offensive. Three out of ten.
Likeliness to Return: Through his declining performance, Jeff Schultz has gone from being an appropriately paid top pairing defenseman to an overpaid sixth or seventh defenseman. We could be making better use of that $2.75 M. Five out of ten.
Usefulness in a Post-Apocalyptic Setting: Well. If we ever needed to reach something off a high shelf, I guess he’d come in handy. Two out of ten.
Other: Schultz participated in the 4th of July festivities at the National Archives, doing a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence, strong Canadian accent and all.
Overall Year-End Rating: Eight Bad Sashas.