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Gretzky, Coffey called Justin Schultz on Oilers’ behalf

Jun 29, 2012, 7:18 PM EDT

gretzkygetty Getty Images

For a guy who’s never played a shift of NHL hockey,* unrestricted free agent defenseman Justin Schultz sure has the league’s many teams tripping over their own feet to impress him. Depending on whose rumors you consume, the likes of the Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild are among the frontrunners. Still, the Edmonton Oilers are high on the list of “teams who could really use Schultz” and they’re pulling out all the stops.

Apparently that means having Oilers legends Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey give him a call to pump the team up in his eyes, as Darren Dreger reports.

Who knows how much of a difference that will make, but for a franchise that – to many – hasn’t done much right, this is a commendable gamble. Schultz gets the best of both worlds, too; even if he doesn’t sign with the Oilers, he’s one of the few humans who can say that Gretzky and Coffey tried to “pitch” to him.

(He better be good, huh?)

* – Or maybe partially because he hasn’t played a shift of hockey, and thus, will be relatively cheap thanks the the entry-level maximum limits …

  1. kingfooj - Jun 29, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    For edmonton, this is like playing super mario with unlimited mushrooms……how do you say no to that

  2. loinstache - Jun 29, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    I realize this is the bitter Canuck fan in me speaking, but I really don’t feel the Oilers deserve him. Several consecutive years of disappointment and you keep getting rewarded with these elite prospects.

    • paperkid96 - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:10 AM

      actually in his eyes nobody deserves him. It who he decides to settle for.

    • sheckyrimshot - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:34 AM

      how does the phrase “several consecutive years of disappointment” not also apply to the canucks?

  3. williplett - Jun 29, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Gretzky and Coffey both left the Oilers before Schultz was born and they are trying to hard sell a bad team to a guy who has never played a single shift in the league. When did desperation become a viable selling point?

  4. babar61 - Jun 29, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Kind of confused. I mean I know Gretzky doesn’t work for them in any way shape or form. Does coffee? I mean what do they have to say? “hey we had a hell of a dynasty in he 80s….ummm it’s really cold and miserable there for 6 months a year as well…”

    Seriously though, if they don’t work for the organization with the current staff, facilities, and players, then what did they say to him?

    • 67nova - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish are in the front office. My guess is those guys asked their friends to call the kid.

  5. zaksyuk - Jun 29, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Honestly for schultz edmonton makes so much sense. You want ice time? You want to be part of a team with a bright future? You want to play in western canada? Also the canucks is a possibility but id be surprised if he goes anywhere but edmonton.

  6. nvandy42 - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    I’m a big Wild fan, but honestly speaking, there is 0% chance this kid plays anywhere except Canada. Its obvious he wants to go back North of the border. Just sign him in Vancouver and lets get this story over with. However, I would gladly accept him to the Wild’s blue line if it happened :)

  7. williplett - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    Gretzky couldn’t even convince one of his own first round picks to sign his ELC when he was coach in Phoenix; Blake Wheeler used the same loophole to become a UFA in ’08 that Schultz just did. I’m not so sure younger players are in awe of him the way hockey fans who saw him actually play in his prime are. Google and Bing searches for “Gretzky” will find you almost as many links to bikini pics of his daughter as footage of the Great One at work. Sure-it’s cool to get a call from #99, but do you really think it made a difference?

  8. ray2013 - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Boys on the Bus 2.0! that’s the pitch anyways. It’s a solid one. We’ll see if it works.

  9. kitshky - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    I’d love to see a blue chip D prospect come to Vancouver, but if I was the kid I’d be hard pressed to not go with Edmonton. It’s a seemingly perfect situation … outside of playing in Edmonton of course.

    I wonder if they’re pushing so hard because they chose to get Yakupov instead of filling the holes on D, and now see a chance to eat the cake too …

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