Sarge is in the middle, finger raised, letting everyone know he’s number one. (Photo: Manchester Monarchs)
Ladies and gentlemen, Jeff Schultz has done it again. One year to the day after winning the Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings, Sarge won the Calder Cup with the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs. Schultz has won two straight championships since getting bought out by the Washington Capitals in June 2013.
Why am I laugh-crying?
In June the Los Angeles Kings won their second championship in three years. We all forced ourselves to smile for Jeff Schultz, then we laughed our most miserable laughs when we saw Schultz’s day with the Stanley Cup. Like look at this picture. Sarge is trolling us.
On Tuesday the final chapter of Sarge’s heroic tale of buyout to champion was written when a commenter from Japers Rink posted a photo of the newly engraved cup.
We had reported over the summer that the Kings had put in a special waiver to the NHL to get the ineligible Mr. Nasty on the NHL’s most revered trophy. Well, here that is. Soak it in for a minute.
Editor’s note: Pat Holden has written about Caps hockey over at Brooks Laichyear since 2012. We’ve asked him to pitch in here at RMNB to smarten us up a bit. Please give Pat a warm welcome. Follow him on Twitter.
This isn’t a post about plus-minus or debating its merits. I don’t like it and neither should you, but that’s not my purpose here. You can love plus-minus and still read this post without becoming enraged. Probably.
Jeff Schultz‘s plus-50 in 2009-10 was the highest rating we’ve seen since Peter Forsberg in 2003. When Caps fans or hockey fans in general make fun of plus-minus, Schultz’s name is almost always invoked. Even Ovechkin did it.
But we don’t often look too closely at Schultz’s 2009-10 season. It was uncommon and– most importantly– really, really lucky. Below is a player usage chart for the Caps defense from that season that will serve as the foundation for examining Schultz’s season.
We’ve got some breaking news. The Los Angeles Kings put in a special waiver to the NHL to get former Washington Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz on the Stanley Cup. That waiver was approved.
Friday afternoon, the Kings announced the 52 names that will be on sports’ oldest championship trophy and Sarge is on that list.
Yes, Jeff Schultz’s name — one season removed from being bought out by the Capitals — will be on the Stanley Cup. Here are the other 51 lucky souls.
So much personality here. Who even is this man? (Photo: @keeperofthecup)
In June, former Washington Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz became a Stanley Cup champion after his Los Angeles Kings vanquished the New York Rangers in five games. Now, for some of you, that thought still makes you laugh/cry/shudder.
Mr. Nasty meet Stanley. Stanley: Mr. Nasty.
Early Saturday morning (east coast time), the Los Angeles Kings defeated the New York Rangers 3-2, winning their second Stanley Cup in three seasons. But most importantly– and I need to shout this next part:
JEFF SCHULTZ IS A STANLEY CUP CHAMPION!!!
For the record, that’s 55-point text. Double nickel size.
What started as an awful joke, is now a reality. I feel like I’m going to puke rainbows at the headline photo right now.
Next question: Will Sarge get his name on The Cup?
Alec Martinez’s game-winning goal, scored 5:47 into overtime on Sunday night, has sent
the Los Angeles Kings Jeff Schultz to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Sarge did not dress for the Los Angeles Kings in game seven last night, but he did make a brief five-second cameo at the very end of the game. It was special.
Photo: Debora Robinson
Last summer, the Washington Capitals bought out the final season of Jeff Schultz’s four-year, $11 million deal. The 6’6”, 227-pound defenseman fell out of favor with Caps brass, and the Calgary, Alberta native asked for a trade. When they couldn’t find a willing partner, they bought him out. The Caps ended up using Sarge’s $2.75 million cap hit on Mikhail Grabovski, and we all said goodbye. It was time.
Over the summer, Schultz signed with the Los Angeles Kings. He didn’t make their team out of training camp, so he spent the entire season with American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs. He put up pedestrian numbers there–two goals and 11 assists– but Sarge has never been a stellar boxcar stat guy. On Monday night, with Robyn Regehr injured, Schultz was given a jersey by Kings coach Darryl Sutter. He looked like a changed player.
It was weird– and not only because he was playing his first NHL game since DC against Bruce Boudreau, Mathieu Perreault, and the Anaheim Ducks.
A Boston writer named Michael Hurley wrote an article about how Alex Ovechkin‘s plus-minus rating is really bad and therefore Alex Ovechkin is really bad. I’m going to link to it here because that’s the responsible thing to do, but please don’t read it. Hurley, who actually gets paid for this dreck, goes through some half-hearted apologia for plus-minus (“As everyone knows, plus-minus is a greatly flawed stat”), and then he uses it as the centerpiece of his argument (“Still, it’s not completely meaningless, as some would like you to believe.”)
He also uses a GIF as part of his proof. You know which one.
So, real quick, I’m just gonna bust out a couple reasons why a) Alex Ovechkin’s plus-minus is low, b) plus-minus is not an indicator of talent, and c) Michael Hurley’s column is bad and he should feel bad.
Sarge hasn’t changed one bit! (Photo credit: Kyle Mace)
After nine glorious seasons with the Washington Capitals organization, Jeff Schultz was bought out of the final year of his four-year, $11 million contract over the summer. With that buyout ended a brilliant career. Remember the time Sarge led the NHL in plus-minus? Or the time he recited the Declaration of Independence? And the time he led the league in plus-minus? Oh, I said that already.
The Los Angeles Kings cut Schultz during training camp, so he spent the fall with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.