Found June 26, 2012 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Let the Schultz-waltz begin

July 1 begins a bit early this year as Justin Schultz is now officially a free agent.

The former second-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks jumped through his final loophole Sunday night after de-registering from the University of Wisconsin back in May now finds himself the prettiest girl in the school to 30 would-be suitors.

In a year when UFA defencemen are mostly harmless save for the biggest fish Ryan Suter, Justin Schultz has the market firmly in control.

He’s 21, can’t make more than $925,000 on his entry level contract (though depending on performance bonuses he could necessitate absorbing as much as a $3.8 million cap hit next year) , and has 113 points in 121 career NCAA games.

Risk/reward is off the charts

So Justin Schultz in the very rare position where he can choose what teams he wants to start his career with, much to the dismay of the Ducks and the bemusement

The rumoured favourites for Schultz’s services are the Canucks, the Oilers, the Blackhawks, the Rangers, and the Maple Leafs, home of the General Manager who originally drafted Schultz in the second round of the 2008 draft.

Remember, it’s the same entry-level max contract wherever he goes, so this decision will be based purely on preference.

If you’re a young defender with big goals, where are you best served to achieve them?

Marc Andre Gragnani Canucks Its a lock folks! Justin Schultz will pick the Vancouver Canucks

To say Marc-Andre Gragnani could be gone begs the question, was he even here?

Well it’s the Canucks obviously.

Go ahead and buy a jersey, I know who Schultz will pick when he eventually plucks a goose from the circle of ducks.

1. He’s a BC Boy

Kelowna, breeding ground of future hockey players and vacationing hockey players. Schultz is merely the latest in a long line of provincial defensemen to come home, like Jason Garrison maybe or Willie Mitchell or Scott Neidermayer, no wait.

Let’s imagine that you grew up as a Canucks fan, which you did, and now are an elite-level prospect, which you aren’t, with a chance to reverse-draft yourself.

How are you not picking the Canucks?

Wasn’t that the team you always dreamed of raising the cup with?

The hometown hero is one of the best career options in sport, you have to take it.

2. The Canucks Need Him

It’s been rumoured that Schultz is asking for a guaranteed roster spot this season because for some reason the possibility of earning an AHL wage in the minors isn’t appealing.

There’s some question to what kind of confidence in your own ability that reveals when you need a guarantee to make it through training camp, but hey this could be easily done on the Canucks believe me.

With Aaron Rome and Marc-Andre Gragnani shown the door this week, roster spots are available.

A quick look down the depth chart sees Dan Hamhuis |Kevin Bieksa | Alex Edler followed by an aging Sami Salo, Ballard who is Keith Ballard, and the mysterious Chris Tanev.

Perhaps Tanev takes the next step and slots into that top-four but this looks like a blueline-in-progress. It’s also a blueline in need of a powerplay quarterback.

Salo is likely on the outs to retirement after this season and last season proved the follies of trying to rely on his weathered body as the first option to play with Alex Edler, who was a Kelowna Rocket back when Schultz was 15.

Surely Schultz remembers watching Edler put up 53 points in 63 games.

Justin Schultz Its a lock folks! Justin Schultz will pick the Vancouver Canucks

My 100% take it to the bank Justin Schultz prediction. He’ll pick the Canucks. The BC boy will play at home.

How cool would that be to play with him on the Canucks?

3. And We’re Really Good

Let’s go down that list again.

Edmonton? Might as well come with the ‘Hang in There Baby’ cat poster.

Detroit? The team that can’t beat the Sharks with Nicklas Lidstrom and now don’t have Nicklas Lidstrom.

The Rangers? Good luck putting up points there or even cracking that blueline.

The Leafs? Dion Phaneuf would be your captain.

The Canucks are simply your best shot to win the cup, all other factors aside.

Sure, Schultz’s actions have proved he loves himself as an individual, pretty sure every hockey player wants to win. The Leafs and the Oilers aren’t offering that unless you believe in the plans of Brian Burke or Steve Tambellini.

The Red Wings and Blackhawks have been eternally stalled in the first round in recent playoffs.

The Canucks? They’re the twice-consecutive President’s Trophy champions who have shown the ability to win 16 playoff games (*in two years).

How much more enticing do you need this to be Justin Schultz?

This is a no-brainer.

Join us it’ll be fun.


© Richard Hodges for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

Follow NWSB on Twitter or join US on Facebook for real-time updates OR... | Share This on Twitter | Share on Facebook

Post tags: Aaron Rome, AHL, Alex Edler, anaheim ducks, Canucks news, Chicago Blackhawks, Chris Tanev, Dan Hamuis, Detroit Red Wings, Dion Phaneuf, Edmonton Oilers, jason garrison, Justin Schultz, Justin Schultz Predictions, Keith Ballard, Kelowna, Kelowna Rockets, Kevin Bieksa, Marc-Andre Gragnani, NCAA, NHL, NHL Predictions, Nicklas Lidstrom, Presidents Trophy, ryan suter, Scott Neidermayer, Toronto Maple Leafs, University of Wisconsin, Vancouver Canucks, Willie Mitchell


Aaron Rome Done in Vancouver, Canucks Not Bringing Back Free Agent Defenseman

The Canuck many Bruins fans despise the most won't be wearing Vancouver colors anymore. No, Roberto Luongo hasn't been traded yet. And how could Bruins fans truly hate Luongo? His ability to motivate Tim Thomas in last year's Stanley Cup Final, not to mention his own sieve-like netminding in the three games at the Garden, were instrumental in Boston winning its first...

Canucks issue a lame duck press release congratulating Pavel Bure & Mats Sundin

Two former Vancouver Canucks made it to the Hockey Hall of Fame today. Now while I hardly consider Mats Sundin a "former Canuck" I guess this time that is fine. In my opinion though the Canucks dropped the ball this time. There should have been seperate press releases. That much is obvious isn't it? I is the release. Quote: Vancouver...

Congrats Pavel Bure! “Russian Rocket” in the 2012 HHOF Class

NWSB Insider and Vancouver Canucks blogger The Flying V - Kevin Vanstone weighs in on the amazing news today for Nucks fans that The Russian Rocket Pavel Bure has been inducted into the 2012 Class of the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame. At 478 career points Bure only sits 7th all time among Canucks players, but boasts the best goal-per-game averages Vancouver has ever seen. Joe Sakic, Adam...

Canucks' General Manage In Control Of Luongo Trade Talks

It has been chanted. He has been used as the scapegoat many times, and it looks like the fans in Vancouver will finally get what they want, well what they want when they are losing at least. Canucks management has been entertaining offers for their All-Star goalie, Roberto Luongo.Many thought Luongo would be traded leading into this year’s Draft. Well, the Draft has come and gone...

UFA of the Day: Dennis Wideman

Hey everyone, Mitch here. Rob was crazy enough to give me some admin control so I could publish my own posts. Once you get past the grammatical errors I think we’ll get along just fine. Today I’m going to profile Dennis Wideman. Name: Dennis Wideman Size: 6’0″, 200 lbs Age: 28 Why the Canucks might want him: Wideman might be one of the more underrated UFA defencemen on the...

Sweet Canucks edit from Corey Schneider!!!

This has to be the best Vancouver Canucks video I've ever seen! I didnt make it but I came across it VIA corey schneiders Twitter! Enjoy boys & girls.

Canucks AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves name Scott Arniel head coach

Per a press release this AM from the team website of the Vancouver Canucks we've learned that former Winnipeg Jets forward Scott Arniel one of the most sought after coaches and is back in charge of his old team. Only now the Manitoba Moose are in a new city. Namely Chicago. The Canucks announced today that Arniel has been named as Coach of the Canucks AHL affiliate Chicago...

The Latest On Luongo

via Aaron Portzline tweets, Told by very good source #Canucks G Roberto Luongo has - to this point—declined to waive no-trade clause to go to #Blackhawks or #Leafs. Only place Luongo is willing to be traded, as of today, is back to the Florida #Panthers. If you are not aware, Luongo’s wife is from south Florida and still has family there.

Why Sundin?

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet, I always suspected Mats Sundin would be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame, but not on the first ballot. With all due respect to the big Swede, I always felt there was enough ammunition for not voting him into the Hall that, at the very least, he would have to wait a few more years before being enshrined. No Stanley Cup. No trips to the Stanley Cup...

UFA of the Day: Justin Schultz

I’m starting to regret calling this the “UFA of the Day” because some days we don’t have a UFA, and other days (like today), we have two! Well here at RobTheHockeyGuy, we pass the savings onto you. Today I’m focusing on one of the most intriguing and highly sought after UFAs to be: Justin Schultz. Name: Justin Schultz Age: 21 Size: 6’1″, 185 lbs Why the Canucks might...

Scott Arniel Will Coach The Chicago Wolves

Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Canucks, in conjunction with the Chicago Wolves, announced today that Scott Arniel has been named as Head Coach of the Canucks AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves. “We are thrilled to have Scott return to our organization,” said Mike Gillis, Vancouver Canucks President & General Manager. “He has had a large impact on the development of a number...

HHOF Screwed Over Shanny

For some reason I couldn't find a similar picture of Sundin... Shanahan was up for the Hockey Hall of Fame this year and I haven't wrote about it, because, well, I figured I'd get to it when he was inducted.  Because of course he'd be inducted right?  Going against the likes of Bure and Sundin, talented guys but ones who never won anything, Shanny and Sakic were...

Sundin, Sakic, Oates, Bure 2012 Hall of Fame Inductees

The 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame class will include, Mats Sundin, Joe Sakic, Adam Oates, and Pavel Bure. Here's what the four have to say about this great acomplishment... (via Hockey Hall of Fame Website)Pavel Bure: "It is a tremendous honour to be selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Growing up I never even thought I would be able to play in the NHL, much less make it into...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.