Jeff Schultz’s Name Will Be Engraved on the Stanley Cup

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.

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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.

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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?

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Jeff Schultz is Going to the Stanley Cup Finals

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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.

A month ago this was a joke. It is now real life.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Capitals Are About to Buy Out Jeff Schultz

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According to Bob McKenzie of TSN, The Washington Capitals have put defenseman Jeff Schultz on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying him out. Though George McPhee said just two weeks ago that he is no fan of compliance buyouts, it appears that is exactly what is about to happen to Sarge.

Schultz fell out of favor with the Capitals this season, playing just 26 games of the shortened season and none in the playoffs.

[Insert mandatory reference to Schultz leading the NHL in plus/minus in 2009-10. Also insert compulsory explanation of how plus/minus is a garbage statistic.]

Schultz has one year remaining on his UFA contract, which carries a $2.75 M cap hit. That cash could go a long way for the cash-strapped Capitals towards re-upping Karl Alzner and Marcus Johansson, and hopefully attaining another top-six forward or top-four defenseman as well.

We’ve already made our peace with Mr. Nasty. Farewell, sir.

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Early Morning Skate: So, the last time we were here, we were there. Filthy Philadelphia, needing a solid road win, and feeling optimistic to start. In fact, we were all, like, yay here we gowhattheflipwasthat?! and c’mon Holtbeast get it together and then yay Groooouuubsie and boooo Max Talbot grrr grrrr and ow that traffic-cone orange makes my soul weep and that was pretty much the best summary of that ugly mess of a game I can imagine.

Mmmm...tastes like Cheez Whiz

Mmmm…tastes like Cheez Whiz

What exactly was it that happened that terrible, cold February night at the F-U Center? Where, exactly, were manimal Troy Brouwer and Captain 8 (despite being probably the best in Red on the ice that night) and John “Towelie” Carlson and the Millionaire and his wife and the nameless rest? Certainly not there to play hard, or at least battle back through a tough start. And why was it, exactly, the Lord Supreme in His wisdom didst create that dung-heap of a burg to begin with?

Now this is our idea of a hot Fly team. Really.

Now this is our idea of a hot Fly team. Really.

You see, I’d like to chalk up that bumbling bungle of a game simply to our visiting the giant spirit suck that is Philly and its moronic fans. Like to, but cannot. Yeah, there were a couple fluky puck bounces and what-not, but those things give as much as they take. No, what we saw was a failure to launch by the Capitals after a dis-spiriting start. It was not, in any possible permutation of the concept, ‘good.’

The Puck Drop: But it’s Spring, and Easter (for some) or Maru (for others) or Passover or Nowruz or we’re just going to stop this now. Traditionally, it’s a time for rebirth and renewal and rejuvenation and reloading and all that. For the Capitals’ flock, it’s once more the race to the playoffs.

For several years now, the Capitals have demonstrated fine mettle in April, much like the pale gossamer jonquils besotting the landscape, if those jonquils were angry, snarling, forechecking, glass-smashing monsters made of steel and laser beams.

In short, there’s two ways this ends. One: we leave Filthydelphia redolent of Whiz, covered in soot and chagrin; or two, you can eat me Peter Laviolette. No wait, that’s a given. Oh yes; or two, we bounce outta Barftown and kick it into grinder gear for the coming match-ups against the Canes and ugly Islanders (revenge want now) and be the team that showed up to rub Winnipeg’s nose in its own dark, dark shame. I know which one I’m hoping for.

So let’s git ‘er done.

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I saw this on eBay and I just had to have it. Capitals Sport & Decor, a memorabilia shop at Dulles Town Center, sometimes hosts signings with Washington Capitals players. They put up some of their extra signed merchandise up on eBay, and that’s where I unearthed this gem. It’s a signed 16 x 20 photo of Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz checking Sidney Crosby down to the ice. Schultz’s signature is at bottom. To the left is an inscription that reads, “Hows the Wood Sid!”

I repeat: “Hows the Wood Sid!”

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