Jun 13, 2012, 3:30 PM EST
There are plenty of teams clamoring for Justin Schultz, the University of Wisconsin defenseman and former Anaheim draftee that appears ready to test free agency.
There’s just one catch.
Because he’ll be signing his first NHL deal, teams can only offer Schultz a standard entry-level contract (complete with performance bonuses) — so in terms of money, all deals will be fairly similar.
As such, teams interested in bringing Schultz aboard will have to get creative in other areas, something ex-Tampa Bay GM Brian Lawton explained to Edmonton’s Team 1260.
“You can rest assured ten teams will guarantee him a spot on their roster,” Lawton told Jason Gregor of the Team 1260. “If you want to compete for these guys you better understand the environment and you better be aggressive. Because there is no time to not be.
“So if you any chance to get a player like this, you’re gonna unfortunately going to be out there on a limb in some uncomfortable positions. Because there are things you don’t want to do like guaranteeing a roster spot to a player who has not played in the league.
“But guess what? That is the landscape you’re dealing with. If you’re going to sit at home and say, ‘I’m not going to do that,’ that’s great. But you’re not going to get any players either.”
Even though Schultz has been labeled “a top-four defenseman upon arrival,” you can see how this type of guarantee would differ between *rumored* suitors like the Oilers and Canucks.
See, it’s easier for a team like Edmonton (low on NHL caliber defensemen) to promise Schultz this type of role than it is for, say, Vancouver (who at times was using Keith Ballard as its No. 6 last year.)
Finally — it should be noted the Ducks still have until June 24 to reach a deal with Schultz, though the possibility of him inking with Anaheim sounds unlikely.
- Columbus puts Bobrovsky (groin) on IR, out 4-5 weeks 1
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Olympic odds, Russia’s defense, King Henrik’s new deal, Fire Cappy? and more 27
- With Lundqvist deal done, Sather faces tough questions 11
- King of New York: Rangers sign Lundqvist to seven-year, $59.5 million extension 39
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks 51
- Report: NHL set to finally pay Gretzky at least $7M 13
- Kadri out as falling Leafs start tough stretch vs. Sharks 9
- Wounded Wings: Zetterberg (back) out, joins Datsyuk on shelf 7
- Burrows out with broken jaw (Update: expected to miss at least four weeks) 22
- NHL on NBCSN: Can battered, slumping Stars rise above Blackhawks? 8
- Video: Canucks’ Bieksa fights Rangers’ Boyle, then kicks Boyle’s helmet (52)
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks (51)
- King of New York: Rangers sign Lundqvist to seven-year, $59.5 million extension (39)
- Islanders embarrassed in fifth consecutive loss (33)
- ‘Don’t ruin a good thing,’ says Don Cherry after historic Rogers-NHL deal (32)