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Report: Schultz shortlists five teams

Jun 28, 2012, 12:24 PM EDT

Justin Schultz Getty Images

Despite speculation that Justin Schultz is leaning towards signing with a western Canadian team, TSN is reporting the highly touted 21-year-old defenseman has shortlisted five clubs – the Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, and Ottawa Senators.

We’ll still consider Edmonton and Vancouver the favorites. The former offers the chance to develop with the likes of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov, plus the opportunity to step into a top-four role. The latter has the home province advantage (Schultz is from Kelowna, BC).

The Rangers’ inclusion on Schultz’s shortlist is notable in that they’re the lone American team. And at the risk of getting ahead of ourselves, it’s also worth wondering if signing Schultz would give Glen Sather more freedom to acquire Rick Nash from Columbus. The Blue Jackets were reportedly interested in Michael Del Zotto and/or Ryan McDonagh; with another young defenseman in the mix, giving up one of those guys gets easier.

  1. elemeno89 - Jun 28, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    this kid is coming off like a real brat.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      Why do you say that? What would you do in his position?

      • elemeno89 - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        stay loyal to the team that drafted me, at minimum for an entry level contract. doesn’t it seem unfair that a prospect can just decide to stay another year in college forgoing any obligation to the team that picked you? and to have a player that has never been to the nhl just pick where he wants to go? sounds like the Lindros saga all over again.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:37 PM

        It does seem a bit unfair, but it’s also Anaheim’s fault that they never signed the kid. They can still trade his rights elsewhere until July 1 but if they’re gonna sit on their hands, he should be able to do whatever he wants. Unless I’m missing some crucial piece of information, he doesn’t really owe them anything. Might be something they address at CBA negotiations too. The last 8 years brought to light a few loopholes in the contract that hopefully they’ll be able to take care of.

      • claysbar - Jun 28, 2012 at 3:10 PM

        He actually became a free agent this past Sunday at 5 PM. The rights are only 3 years after the draft, not free agency. He could/can negotiate with any team. He just can’t be officially signed until July 1st at noon.

    • nichis01 - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:29 PM

      The kid had 26 NHL teams interested in him. He’s been receiving offers left, right, and center. He’s been talking exclusively for about 10 teams up until today. Why wouldn’t your take all the time you need to figure out what choice is best for you? Obviously you would just get it over with if you were him and sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets because you wouldn’t look at all the facets that are offered.

  2. danphipps01 - Jun 28, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton can offer top-four minutes. New York and Vancouver can offer the fact that they actually, you know, win. So does Ottawa of course, but between those three choices, New York and Vancouver are more serious contenders for the Cup.

    • nichis01 - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      The Canucks can definitely offer up a top 4 defensive role if the kid proves he’s worth it early on. I don’t see the likes of Salo signing back. If the Canucks sign Shultz then Rome is likely not gonna be signed as well. That leaves us with Edler, Hamhuis, Bieksa, Shultz, Tanev, Ballard, and Alberts as your 7 d-men the Canucks will likely start the season with.

      • danphipps01 - Jun 28, 2012 at 4:53 PM

        Wasn’t Rome already passed on? In any event, I figure they’ll probably go for Salo again if he’s willing to be budget-friendly about it. It’s not like he’s a bad defenseman. Then again, between him and Schultz… yeah, I’d be going for Schultz. Salo tends to miss a fair chunk of time every season with injuries. Schultz could almost certainly be counted on for more games per season, and the Canucks could definitely stand to get a little younger.

    • imleftcoast - Jun 28, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      I grew up near Kamloops, and he’s not going to Edmonton, Toronto or Ottawa. It’s between Vancouver and New York.

      • nichis01 - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:58 AM

        That’s awesome that you grew up near Kamloops, but Shultz is from West Kelowna.

  3. napoleonblownapart6887 - Jun 28, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Nothing against the Rangers, but how pissed are you if your the Flames or Jets?

    “I WILL PLAY FOR ANY TEAM IN CANADA…. except those two train wrecks…”

    • ribs108 - Jun 28, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      …and, smartly, he’s not including the NHL’s 3-ring circus act of Montreal. It’s a shame since which future defenseman wouldn’t want to be tutored by the illustrious Patrice Brisebois.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 28, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      Well, Calgary is a slowly sinking ship, Montreal may be too far east, and either he thinks Winnipeg is too stacked with d-men to get top 4 minutes or he doesn’t want to live in the coldest city in the world with a population greater than 600k (it’s true, look it up). Either way, he can go wherever he wants, and whatever his reason are for picking those 5 teams, I’m sure he has them. If I was 21 and a highly touted pending UFA, I’d have my list of teams too.

      • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:05 PM

        This opens up and interesting idea. Who would be your teams to sign with – whatever your criteria may be.

        Pens – I’m a homer. Get that out of the way.
        Nashville – Awesome city, get to play with Shea Weber and in front of Rinne. Team on the rise.
        NYR – MSG, NYC, come. on.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:21 PM

        #1 – Jets: Hometown, hockey-crazy, excellent fishing nearby.
        #2 – Wild: Current city for 13+ yrs, fantastic cities, loyal fanbase, looking up under Fletch
        #3 – Avalanche: Favorite childhood team after the Jets left, love their logo, beautiful state, great history
        #4 – Ottawa: Been a Sens fan for sometime, not sure why
        #5 – St Louis: Not a pretty town but let’s face it, they’re due and I could be the missing piece that brings the Cup there

      • nichis01 - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:44 PM

        Nashville isn’t a team on the rise. They have to sign Weber, Suter, Radulov, Gaustad, Gill, Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn, Blum, Tootoo, ect. They aren’t gonna bring all those guys back and have the same core they had this year. Weber said in Las Vegas that he wants to play his entire career with Suter. But this year was their last hoorah in Nashville I think. There’s just gonna be too much missing come July 1st.

      • langforc - Jun 28, 2012 at 3:07 PM

        1) Detroit – I’m a homer and they are one of the best run organizations in hockey

        2) LA Kings – Just won the cup and I like the way they play hockey

        3) Edmonton – Would love to play on the same team as all that up and coming talent

        4) St. Louis – they are a few pieces away and they have one helluva coach in Hitchcock

        5) NYR – the city, the venue and Tortorella is awesome

  4. stakex - Jun 28, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing this guy get a shot with the Rangers, but I just don’t see that happening.

    His two major deciding points are that he wants to play in Canada (Western Canada at that), and get top four minutes. Obviously the Rangers are not in Western Canada, and its unknown if they will be able to offer top four minutes. With Giriadi, McDonagh, Staal, and possibly Del Zotto in the mix, I don’t see any room for a rookie with no NHL experience to assume a top role in the Rangers defense.

    Of course the Rangers went deeper then any other team on that list last season and are likely to have a very good team this year… so I guess its possible he will land there. Then again, he has Edmonton on his list so going to a winner is obviously not a priorty.

    • mnhockey24 - Jun 28, 2012 at 11:03 PM

      i thought everyone was going to detriot or pit

  5. lordfletcher - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Shocked to not see the Wild on this list. Not because I am a homer, just simply due to the fact they can offer him what everyone else can. Top 4, guaranteed playing time, and an up and coming team (prospects)…. I did never once think that Fletcher would be able to completely sell Schultz on coming here but the fact he played at Madison and played in MN a few times, kinda thought this would make his short list of 5 teams, and then end up in EDM after all the hoopla’ is over.

    EDM wins, my guess

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      Based on his choices, it would seem that Schultz’s wishes are to play for a Canadian team and/or a Cup contender. The Wild are neither at the current moment, though that could change in the near future (Minnesota is essentially the 11th province anyway).

      • lordfletcher - Jun 28, 2012 at 2:23 PM

        completely agree. just thought he would have been the lone American team to make the list and then lose out to EDM.

      • lordfletcher - Jun 28, 2012 at 7:33 PM

        per Bob Mck. TSN Twitter 4:21 pm today

        Strongly led to believe MIN, as in Wild, are in on shortlist for UFA dman Justin Schultz. That would make 6 teams we know of. Maybe more?

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:24 AM

        Wow, that would be pretty sweet. Definitely one area that the Wild could use a boost in, almost as much as offense. Get ‘im Fletch!

    • nichis01 - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      Apparently Shultz offered up another team, the Minnesota Wild, as a 6th team he’s looking at. So don’t count your eggs before they’ve hatched.

  6. mclovinhockey - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    I like this idea, teams id sign with
    1. Philly, number 1 most consistent fan base in the US, 3rd most in the league with the 2nd highest winning percentage of all time.
    2. Avalanche, always had a soft spot for this team, great jerseys, great players, Roy, forsberg and sakic are my 3 favorite players of all time
    3. Montreal- the 2nd most consistent fan base in the league, most Stanley cups in the history of the sport. Plus highest winning percentage of all time.
    4. Redwings number 4 among fan bases in the NHl, with the most consecutive playoff appearances
    5. Wild, love the 3rd jerseys… Great city decent hockey following

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      Thumbs up, but Avs AND Wings? What on earth?

  7. mclovinhockey - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    To be honest if you play the numbers. Philly or the rangers have the best chances at the cup next year. In the past 9 years its been east west east west…. Currently a west team has the cup, by stats alone the east should win….

    The Atlantic is easily the best division in the league, 4 of the last 5 years has been the Atlantic in the east

    No team won twice in a long time… That means the pens statistically are not favorites

    It’s very rare to see a team make it back to finals in back to back years… Looks like that eliminates the devils

    Islanders suck…

    Next years cup will most likely be the rangers…. Maybe the flyers…. Sign with one of those two hahaha

  8. ray2013 - Jun 28, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    So what happens when he slumps? Every rookie goes through it.

    Edmonton is probably the only team that wouldn’t care. “You’re still better than four of our top 6 on your worst day!” Add on that, a coveted free agent picked EDMONTON over NYR and TOR. He’ll get a ticker tape parade down Jasper Ave the day he shows up in Edmonton after signing. He would get a deck full of passes from Edmonton media and fans if he were to sign here.

    If he signs with Vancouver, he can probably expect the Bobby Lu treatment. Beloved Savior of the Franchise treatment until he has problems, then get that bum outta here!

    If I were his agent, I’d tell him Edmonton and that’s without even looking at the hockey side.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 28, 2012 at 4:21 PM

      The biggest problem with that is that you have to live in Edmonton, it’s the trailer park of Canada.

  9. porkcrisp - Jun 28, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    1. Vancouver – Fanatic fan base and the only city in North America to consistently be ranked in the top 10 places to live in the world.
    2. Detroit – Ken Holland and Mike Babcock are two of the brightest men in hockey.
    3. Habs – Tradition
    4. Florida – South Beach and no state tax.
    5. Kings – Stanley Cup champs earned the right to be in the top 5.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 28, 2012 at 4:28 PM

      I love the city of Vancouver, one of my favorite cities in the world but their fan base is horrible! They’re front runners in the worst way, team was just about dead averaging 7000 per night before Bure gets there, then the fans started coming, Bure leaves and the team tanks and they were back around 11,000 per game until Brian Burke rebuilt that franchise.

      I went to a Flames v Canucks game at GM Place in 2002, Iginla and Naslund were fighting for the league lead in points at that point in time (Feb before Naslund broke his leg) Naslund had been struggling for a few games and Iginla had taken the lead, I sat there with great amusement listening to Canucks fans complain about how horrible and over rated Naslund was and how they should trade him for Iginla.

      An let’s not forget the riots or those two idiots ripping off It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

      Not a great fan base!!!

  10. bucrightoff - Jun 28, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    His arrogant douchebag attitude seems like a dream fit in Vancouver.

    • porkcrisp - Jun 28, 2012 at 2:58 PM

      With that response, who is the real douchebag?

      • bucrightoff - Jun 28, 2012 at 4:06 PM

        If his attitude didn’t convince you he’s a douche, here are a few of his favorite things from a profile of his

        Favorite Bands: Nickelback, Finger Eleven
        Favorite Actor: Adam Sandler
        Favorite place to shop: American Eagle

        Now those are three of the absolute hallmarks of a douchebag. Throw in that he’s a Canucks fan growing up and I think the real douchebag has already revealed himself.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 28, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        Wow, what frat house was he a part of?

  11. ray2013 - Jun 28, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    If you’re signing for a city to live in, then that’s different than picking a team to play for, and whether short-term or long-term contract.

    If I was picking hockey cities to live in:
    1) Vancouver
    2) Montreal
    3) Phoenix
    4) Raleigh-Durham

    Short-term Contract:
    1) Pittsburgh
    2) Detroit
    3) New York (Rangers)
    4) Boston

    Long-term Contract:
    1) Edmonton
    2) Denver
    3) Montreal
    4) Detroit

    Are you picking because the city is nice, because you want to win now, or because you like the organization or where the team is going? Note that it’s my list, your picks will obviously suit you more than mine.

    • porkcrisp - Jun 28, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      The chance to play with Crosby and Malkin or Datsyuk and Zetterberg would be very appealing to anyone.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 28, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      No no no no, you are making this much too complicated, amigo. Top 5 teams that come to mind for any reason, assuming they’d take a superstar such as yourself no questions asked, and only 5 teams.

  12. kingjoe1 - Jun 28, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    If he is considering the Rangers certainly are in the mix. I still believe he goes Winnepeg or Philly

  13. jkaflagg - Jun 28, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Have to agree that Edmonton makes the most sense – in addition to working with top-end offensive talent, he can move into a top 4 defensive pair without irritating any veterans with the alleged “guaranteed roster spot and playing time” demands…..

  14. mclovinhockey - Jun 28, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Hahaha oops, yeah I know the wings and Avs are rivals but it’s 2 greatly run organizations… Well the wings are run very well, Avs used to be but still love those jerseys a bit too much to care if I was on a losing team… Anyway the rivalry isn’t as bad as Pitt Philly, boson Montreal, NYR and Philly, the battle of Alberta, or Montreal Toronto so maybe people won’t notice too much hahaha : )

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:27 AM

      I’m glad to see someone other than myself with an affinity for the Avs jerseys. Hands down my favorite, and have been ever since 96.

  15. atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 28, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    He’s a rookie, there should be absolutely no guarantees about playing time or defensive pairing, you show up in camp and earn your position by showing you deserve it, if a team just hands him everything they risk creating resentment amongst players who weren’t handed a silver spoon.

    And if he’s any sort of competitor and has any belief in his own abilities he’d want it no other way.

  16. williplett - Jun 28, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    A lot of folks are supporting his decision to do business this way. My guess is that they would change their tune if Schultz inspires one of THEIR top picks to take advantage of this loophole and becomes an UFA. Blake Wheeler walked away from Phoenix, a team that used the 5th overall pick in the draft on him, in 2008 under the same circumstances. Maybe it is time to close this loophole in the next CBA.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:29 AM

      What I don’t get though is why teams don’t lock them up with an ELC so they can play in college and then jump to their respective team. If it inspires anything, it’s to lock up your budding players so they don’t walk on you. The onus is entirely on the teams.

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