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Ducks GM compares Justin Schultz leaving to Eric Lindros spurning Quebec

Jul 1, 2012, 10:01 PM EDT

Justin Schultz Getty Images

After a significant courting process, the Edmonton Oilers landed coveted rookie free agent defenseman Justin Schultz. For his part, Schultz is saying all the right things about earning a spot on the team, but let’s not forget that he spurned the team that drafted him – the Anaheim Ducks – much like Blake Wheeler once did with the Phoenix Coyotes. After a busy day that included signing Bryan Allen and Sheldon Souray, Ducks GM Bob Murray took some time to vent about Schultz’s refusal to sign an entry-level deal with Eric Stephens.

He even evoked the polarizing situation between Eric Lindros and the Quebec Nordiques while doing so.

“I’m more confused than ever now,” Murray said. “I’ve moved on. If he had it in his mind that he wanted to play in Canada … OK. I get that … I’m a Canadian too. But Eric Lindros, when he didn’t want to play in Quebec, he went to his team that drafted him and said no I’m not going to play there. He allowed that team to make the move to get something for him. He told us numerous times he wanted to play for us.”

As with many players who become fairly high-profile free agents before they play an NHL shift (examples include Fabian Brunnstrom, Ville Leino and Jonas Gustavsson), it’s common for guys to see their value or spotlight grow a little too large. Even so, Schultz’s attention has been noteworthy, with legends Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey even pitching in to land him.

Schultz had a lot of suitors. That means he also spurned a lot of people, which could mean a spattering of well-informed boos here and there. If Murray’s comments resonate with fans, they might be most justified – and maybe quite a bit louder – in Anaheim.

  1. jernster21 - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    To prove to everybody how nice of a guy he is, he’ll only ask for a 99.9 million dollar deal instead of 100m after his entry level deal expires.

  2. kingfooj - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    Friday October 19th ED at Ducks. Thatll be interesting

  3. andyreidisfat - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    This is something they must address in the new CBA. No player who never played a game should be allowed to be a free agent.

    They need to do what the NFL does. If you don’t want to play for the team who drafted you then you wait the year and you go back into the draft.

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 2, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    He’s not comparing Schultz to Lindros, he’s saying what this kid did is worse.

  5. thegonz13 - Jul 2, 2012 at 6:18 AM

    Only difference is Lindros was DRAFTED by the Nordiques. Schultz was a free agent and could go anywhere he wanted

    • lowdownthrowdown - Jul 2, 2012 at 6:44 AM

      There’s no difference. Schultz was DRAFTED by the Ducks. A loophole in the CBA allowed him to become a free agent by quitting school. Ducks had a 30 day exclusive window to sign him before he became a UFA. I’m a Kings fan and thus I hate the Ducks, but this is crap. Can not be allowed. What the Ducks GM is saying is that Lindros didn’t want to play for the Nordiques, but allowed them to get something for him. Schultz gave all indications to Ducks that he was going to play, then dropped out of school and bailed, leaving them with nothing but a lost draft pick.

      • gobillz - Jul 2, 2012 at 7:43 AM

        When did he give any indication to the Ducks that he was going to play for them? Fact is Bob Murray had 4 years to try and sign Schultz and couldnt do it. It was clear to everyone with eyes that Schultz wasnt going to play in Anaheim since he left school. If Murray had wanted to trade Schultz’s rights, he absolutely could have.

        Schultz took advantage of an unpopular loophole, but Murray should only be upset with himself.

      • imleftcoast - Jul 2, 2012 at 12:29 PM

        He lied to the Ducks, and Newport Sports Management doesn’t know what they’re doing. He’s a loser, and the Oilers are not going to get much from him. A couple years wasted, and he’s off to New York.

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