SHADOWS WASH THE ROOM

Let me begin by saying I do not expect the Edmonton Oilers to trade Justin Schultz—not at the deadline, not in summer. However, I think the idea of moving Schultz should at least be considered. Why? On a team where chaos rules defensively, Schultz often stands out as the least aware soldier on the field of battle.

schultz extra skaterThis is his Extra Skater player card. Offensively, he’s a terrific young defender (per 82gp: 13-29-42) and when he dives deep into the scoring zone it’s a legit thrill to see. Schultz as an entertainer is worth full price of admission. However, he’s about 100 games from settling in defensively, and that’s if he’s a quick study. Justin Schultz does NOT look like a quick study as a defenseman.

Schultz’s WOWY shows he’s a drag on Ference, Nick Schultz, pretty much everyone not named Belov (who scored for the Russians this morning).

 VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER

vollman oilers blue feb 13Justin Schultz gets the biggest zone start push, and that’s good business. He and Ference are in the ‘two-way’ portion of the graph and of course there’s no blue balloon for either of them. There’s a big focus on Andrew Ference and his foibles, but Schultz defensively is a major challenge (as the WOWY implies). His salary (including bonus) is $3,775,000 (if all tumblers click on the bonus side) and he’ll be RFA this summer.

What’s it going to cost the Oilers to sign Justin Schultz long term? Is he worth it? Will another 100 NHL games settle him down? Can the Oilers find a partner who can complement and cover, as needed?

I’ll say this: watching Martin Marincin play his first games makes me yearn (yearn!) for addition natural defensemen. I’m a fan of Justin Schultz with the puck and in the offensive zone. He is an adventure otherwise, and an expensive one with a summer raise on the way.

I think we need to at least have the conversation.

Edit to add: Truth asked about Erik Karlsson in his second season. This is Vollman’s Sledgehammer

karlsson 10-11Karlsson’s zone starts are even more severe (57% to Schultz’s 49%) and he’s a blue balloon. Karlsson was 20 in this season (2010-11), and it was his second season. That probably factors into the conversation (Schultz is 23 years old in this, his second season) and it might have value to post their respective numbers during their second seasons:

  • Erik Karlsson: 75, 13-32-45 -30
  • Justin Schultz 52, 8-16-24 -13

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96 Responses to "SHADOWS WASH THE ROOM"

  1. book¡je says:

    The Oilers are not trading Shutlz. He fills the ‘Coffee’ spot in Katz player collection.

  2. PaperKurtRussell says:

    Good morning and great article as usual LT. Quick thoughts:

    - I’m willing to be patient as Jultz matures and finds his all-around game, but at the same time if he’s the guy we have to move for that COMPLETE defender, we gotta do it.

    - As mentioned, Belov scored today on a boomer of a shot. He also looked great throughout that whole sequence. Yes, it’s only Slovenia, but I felt good for Anton scoring in front of the home crowd. He looked pumped!!! This has to be a tough year… Goes from being “the best defender in the KHL” to a healthy scratch on the worst defensive team in the NHL. But, Dallas knows best. ;-)

  3. PhrankLee says:

    I agree. He is not a defender with offensive upside. He is a offensive phenom who gives no assurance in form, to date, that he is capable of defending first and intelligently. Those two qualities (mind set of defence and correct reads) generate chances offensively that he could participate in. Like so many of our young guys he seems to feel that he MUST cheat offensively to gain positive ice against opponents who lie in wait for those mistakes. Chaos is the correct keyword in his game so far. Where is his sneaky shot? Find 1G.

  4. Halfwise says:

    “Entertainment” you say? Lots of fans of every tier would call Minnesota-style hockey entertainment just because it feels good to win and bad to lose. I know MacT’s objective is to build a winner, and I personally think he is on the right track, but the track is longer and steeper than any of us want to believe, and the motor sounds a bit rough.

    By my eye Larsen and Schultz bring extreme puck and skating skills but not enough defense, or gravitas for that matter, to compensate for the forwards or to get the forwards to change their waywardness. So it sometimes looks like a clown show in their zone. Too much dazzle not enough actual D.

    Thinking back to the 2006 team, which many people say got lucky (funny what CFP and a bunch of warriors will do for your luck), there was room for exactly one MAB. Sounds about right to me.

    I think this team will struggle to get above .500 if it puts a higher value on dazzle than on functional defense.

  5. frjohnk says:

    Schultz has in the last while, had less chaos in his game. If he can continue to grow his defensive game, his ceiling is a number 2 on a really good team. And that could be here in a couple of years.

    If they trade him, it would have to be for a top pairing defence men. While the oilers have many potential defence men in the minors and juniors that will be become regular NHL’s, none have the offensive pedigree that Shultz has, and how many of them could potentially become top pairing, Maybe Nurse, maybe Marincin but that’s it.

    Top pairing defenceman do not grow on trees and few are ever available for trade and less are available in free agency. If, for example, Montreal is looking to off load PK, then I say put Schultz on the table. Other than that, I say keep Schultz and let him keep developing here.

  6. blackdog says:

    He’s basically just finished his rookie season, same as Yakapov so I’m not too worried yet. He might be Andy Delmore but give him another two year deal and see what comes.

  7. Ducey says:

    You can have the conversation, but it should be short.

  8. WeirsBeard says:

    Get good players, keep good players?

  9. Truth says:

    Admittedly, I don’t know where you go to see these Vollman Sledgehammer charts but I do see they are an accurate portrayal of a combination of useful items. What would it take to see what Erik Karlsson’s chart looked like in his sophomore campaign (2010-2011)? I think they play a very similar style and they both have struggled defensively early in their careers. Karlsson has clearly been able to offset his defensive woes with his offense.

  10. steveb12344 says:

    I wonder if they had that conversation about trading Paul “Cough-up” back in the day

  11. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Can the Oilers find a partner who can complement and cover, as needed?”

    I think either Belov or Ference would be fine as hand-holders for Justin.

    The caveat here isn’t so much partner (though, some clearly don’t work at all…), but qualcomp. He’s playing way too high up the depth chart (his partners too).

    Play J. Schultz and Ference as the 3rd pairing and you’re fine… now they are getting (and going to get) paid too much to be 3rd pairing guys… that might be the issue.

  12. Younger Oil says:

    I honestly think it’s a great idea to trade him, especially if he’ll want a raise. You shouldn’t pay above $4M for a defensive liability. Our team would honestly be a lot better off if we traded J. Schultz and Gagner (not necessarily packaged together), and they should be able to fetch back a #2C and a RHD between them. Then, we can draft Ekblad, keep prospects like Klefbom and Marincin who are better defenders, and get rid of arguably our two biggest defensive liabilities. We need to put a greater focus on keeping goals out of our own net. It definitely needs to be considered.

    Let me be clear, I like him as a player, but I see all of Marincin, Klefbom, Nurse, and Ekblad passing him, so we shoild definitely refrain from giving him a big contract, and trade him if he wants a raise from his $3.75M.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Truth:
    Admittedly, I don’t know where you go to see these Vollman Sledgehammer charts but I do see they are an accurate portrayal of a combination of useful items.What would it take to see what Erik Karlsson’s chart looked like in his sophomore campaign (2010-2011)? I think they play a very similar style and they both have struggled defensively early in their careers.Karlsson has clearly been able to offset his defensive woes with his offense.

    http://www.hockeyabstract.com/playerusagecharts

    I’ll post the Karlsson in the article.

  14. FastOil says:

    Truth:
    Admittedly, I don’t know where you go to see these Vollman Sledgehammer charts but I do see they are an accurate portrayal of a combination of useful items.What would it take to see what Erik Karlsson’s chart looked like in his sophomore campaign (2010-2011)? I think they play a very similar style and they both have struggled defensively early in their careers.Karlsson has clearly been able to offset his defensive woes with his offense.

    http://www.hockeyabstract.com/playerusagecharts

    He was sheltered but had a positive Corsi. JS is a guy you want on the team. Imagine the Oilers down a goal in a critical situation. You want a D that can drive offense. There is risk but a defensive guy won’t help when you have to score.

    When the tables are turned and you are protecting a lead in a short time frame you sit JS down and put Marincin out there.

  15. admiralmark says:

    Yet another player brought in and put in a position to fail. Why? Because the team has zero 1st pairing D. One has to wonder with a reasonably competent D how would Schultz of developed so far? And has this brutal method of trial by fire development the Oilers seem hell bent on using had a permanent detrimental effect on him?

    I say no. I say fix the friggin D for once. Do what it takes to get that bona fide 1st pair d man, match him up with Petry. And lets see what a player like Schultz and Belov(frankly) can do when they aren’t being thrown in the deep end.

    oh and PS: hows the pro scouting looking lately Gilbert<Shultz Sr? How would Gilbert look as a 2nd pairing D on the team right now. Pro scouting Dept is the most glaring failure in the managerial structure of this team. And has been for a long long time.

  16. Racki says:

    book¡je:
    The Oilers are not trading Shutlz.He fills the ‘Coffee’ spot in Katz player collection.

    Sorry.. What? He fills Katz’ coffee?

  17. Kosmo Kraemer says:

    So let me throw in my two cents. Jultz is still an infant as far as defense goes. He has played roughly 100 games in the NHL so far, so lets see what he is like in another years time, once he is approaching that 200 game threshold. Get a top pairing D and push some of the current D down a spot. After all its not as if the Oilers are going to make the playoffs even next year. MacT will have to be a magician for them to make the playoffs and I am satisfied with playoffs in 2015-16.

  18. The Great One says:

    This conversation reminded me once again of the remarks from Dean Lombardi regarding the development of Jack Johnson. (cue Woodguy screaming in agony).

    http://frozenroyalty.net/2010/01/20/dean-lombardi-jack-johnson-is-learning-his-craft-belatedly/

    Very similar career paths although, early on, Schultz is producing more offence.

  19. Truth says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks for the info. I definitely overlooked the age thing, looks like my hopes of Schultz turning into Karlsson are pretty unrealistic. I’m just going to hope we can call this season an aberration and he and Taylor Hall end up with blue bubbles from here on out.

  20. art vandelay says:

    Caught the presser announcing the Welfare Dome would soon break ground.
    With the $600M we’re giving him, can’t Katz afford dentures?

  21. G Money says:

    If you’re going to look at Jultz’s Vollman’s in comparison to Karlsson, in addition to the bubble colour and the zone starts, you also have to look at the other data elements, specifically at the bubble sizes (TOI) of the other defensemen. Both Karlsson and Jultz are playing clear Top 4 minutes in their second year.

    Based on TOI, Jultz’s companions are Petry, Ference, and Larsen. Karlsson’s were Kuba, Gonchar, and Phillips. Do they even distantly compare?

    In his second year, Jultz is still an offensive dynamo and struggling defensively. He should be slowly getting better as he learns the craft (and by eye he is).

    He’s not as good as Karlsson. Is “not as good as Karlsson” a valid line of reasoning for trading a defenseman?

  22. Caramel Obvious says:

    I’ve been hard on Schultz in the past but trading him is crazy talk.

    First, he contributes offense from the blueline at even strength. That’s a very rare, and basically, irreplaceable skill. His value is always going to be greater than his corsi score. If he’s nearing a blue bubble he’s one of the best players in the game.

    Second, I don’t see his trade value as being overly high. His reputation is in Jake Gardiner territory. There is no way you can win this trade.

    The only tradeable asset on the Oilers who will bring you back something you want is Eberle and the draft pick.

  23. book¡je says:

    Racki: Sorry.. What? He fills Katz’ coffee?

    Coffey, not coffee (damn autocorrect)

  24. The Great One says:

    G Money,

    Depends on who else he’s “not as good as”.

  25. Hammers says:

    Doesn’t remind me of Coffey at all as his not as good on Offence or defence . What to do .A friend said put him on the wing as we need bonafide “D” to win . Do we do that or trade him . I have said a few times I would package him + (now maybe Gags ) to get a top “D” . This type of “D” takes to long and will never be a complete defenceman . The only way this works is by adding 2 more “D” better than any we have . PS . Good for Belov and if it is Eakins +assistants not working with him then trade him and 2 years from now we won’t mention Hedja but we will Belov.

  26. G Money says:

    The Great One,

    Yes.

    Karlsson comparisons are not apt.

    Neither are Johnson comparisons.

    He’s already shown top end NHL-level skills on offense.

    On the defensive side, he’s shown many flashes of brilliance and as many or more flashes of idiocy.

    As long as he can develop a modest level of competence and consistency on the defensive side of the game, his offense means he’ll be a terrific player for many years.

    If he can’t, he’ll still be in the league, but as the hockey equivalent of a pinch hitter.

    Next year – which will be his 120 – 200th games in the league, or about 1.5 to 2.5 seasons equivalent – will be the tell as to which direction he’s going to go.

    The issue is not whether the Oilers should sign him – to let him go would be idiocy – but what it’s going to cost, and what risk that entails given the open-endedness of his development path.

  27. G Money says:

    Just catching up on the previous thread, and now I have the following opening line running through my head:

    “Paul Kharia, Taylor Sequins, and Sim Gagne walk into a bar …”

    Now I just need a punchline.

    Or would “Because Oilers” do it?

  28. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    Just catching up on the previous thread, and now I have the following opening line running through my head:

    “Paul Kharia, Taylor Sequins, and Sim Gagne walk into a bar …”

    Now I just need a punchline.

    Or would “Because Oilers” do it?

    Seguin has the puck in the corner, Gagner has Khaira covered in the slot but breaks off and quickly gets in position for an outlet pass.

  29. Ducey says:

    Hammers,

    I am guessing you are too young to remember the early Paul Coffey.

    The average fan and occasional sports wrtier suggested he play wing or be traded all the time. There was too much chaos in his game, he didn’t know how to play defense, he looked like he was not trying, and of course he didn’t hit or fight. Those were the complaints anyway.

    I am not suggesting Jultz is Coffey. Not close frankly, but Coffey was one of the best ever.

    I am suggesting that it takes a while to learn how to play defense in the NHL and that it is waaayyy to early to talk about trading Jultz.

  30. VanOil says:

    G Money:
    “Paul Kharia, Taylor Sequins, and Sim Gagne walk into a bar …”

    Sequins gets slapped so hard it breaks Gange jaw and gives Kharia a headache.

  31. justDOit says:

    Racki: Sorry.. What? He fills Katz’ coffee?

    I thought that was Klowe’s job?

  32. jake70 says:

    One irritant of mine with the Oiler forwards on their zone entries is they (2 or 3 forwards) often appear to be in a straight line horizontally, passes get intercepted or they lose the puck trying to go through the D. JSchultz seems to be the only guy to rush in behind this first wave to be the trailer. Watch other teams score on Oil, they always seem to have a trailer comming in late, be it a forward or a D. His instincts to do this are pretty good, he’ll get caught less and less as he learns.

    So if they qualify him, is that not a minimum 10% raise? So that gets us atuomatically to the 4.1M range (based on this year WITH the bonus considered). That’s getting up there. If he ends up a 3rd pairing D, does that make sense, even with cap rising?

    For the Oilers throwing him in deep end so fast, does he sign with them if he is not guaranteed the minutes? He denied this when he signed but I am skeptical…. do we know yet truly why he didn’t sign with Ducks (too many guys ahead of him??).

  33. delooper says:

    jake70:
    So if they qualify him, is that not a minimum 10% raise?So that gets usatuomatically to the 4.1M range (based on this year WITH the bonus considered).That’s getting up there.If he ends up a 3rd pairing D, does that make sense, even with cap rising?

    His actual salary (cap hit) is $925,000. Everything else is bonuses.

  34. jp says:

    Anyone know how to catch the Canada games when in the US? I can’t get the cbc feed here, game isn’t listed on firstrowsports. Any help would be great!

  35. russ99 says:

    No way.

    We’ll rue the day if we trade this kid, just like we still do with Visnovsky.

    Puck movers and playmaking offensive defensemen don’t come along every day, and I don’t see Schultz’s skills replicated in our defensive prospects above the Junior or (heavily sheltered) SEL levels.

    Much like our other young core players, the Oilers did Jultz a disservice by playing him in a role well above his current level, and without quality veteran leadership.

    I hope the Oilers remedy that, rather than throw the baby away with the bath water.

  36. VanOil says:

    jp:
    Anyone know how to catch the Canada games when in the US? I can’t get the cbc feed here, game isn’t listed on firstrowsports. Any help would be great!

    The Hola extension for Chrome will allow you to stream the CBC site.

  37. jp says:

    VanOil: The Hola extension for Chrome will allow you to stream the CBC site.

    Great, I’ll try to set that up. Thanks.

  38. justDOit says:

    Seeing Kunitz on the big ice, it’s easy to see that: Kunitz >>> Zamuner.

  39. Derek says:

    I think he may take a similar development path to this guy:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=63187

    I would suggest if he turns into a similar player we’d all be jumping for joy.

    They’re close to the same size, Keith being 6’1 196, while Schultz is 6’2 188. They both joined their NHL clubs at the age of 22 and to my eyes they play a similar game. The first set of numbers we have for Keith are in his third season as a pro, starting at 163 GP.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67&ds=1&f3=DUNCANKEITH&f1=2013_s+2012_s+2012_p+2011_s+2011_p+2010_s+2010_p+2009_s+2009_p+2008_s+2008_p+2007_s

    http://somekindofninja.com/nhl/usage.php?f1=2007_s&f2=5v5&f3=&f5=CHI&f4=D&f7=40-&bubbleType=corsiRel&yAxis=qoc&update-filters=Update+Results

    If J Schultz can start putting up similar results halfway through next season are we happy?
    (52.6% ZoneStart, Corsi on 2.11, Corsi Rel 2.3, 17.70 TOI/G)

    He’s currently playing 6 more minutes per game with harder zone starts while doing it against easier competition. He’s not playing with Brent Seabrook either.

  40. godot10 says:

    jp:
    Anyone know how to catch the Canada games when in the US? I can’t get the cbc feed here, game isn’t listed on firstrowsports. Any help would be great!

    free VPN: hola.org

  41. Lowetide says:

    delooper: His actual salary (cap hit) is $925,000. Everything else is bonuses.

    Which count toward the cap.

  42. godot10 says:

    Paul Coffey didn’t play much defense for his first three seasons. Played on Stanley Cup winners in three different cities.

    Sather would import Ruotsalainen from Europe in February every year to fill in for the Stanley Cup runs in the Coffey role once Coffey was gone.

    Brian Rafalski contributed to multiple Stanley Cups in two different cities.

    Duncan Keith has two Stanley Cups.

    Why exactly are we discussing trading Justin Schultz after 100 games?

  43. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: Which count toward the cap.

    The qualifying offer for Justin Schultz is his base salary plus 10% or about $1.1 million.

    His cap hit on a two-year deal will probably be less than his current cap hit.

  44. jp says:

    Oilanderp,

    Thanks a bunch. I got Hola working, but cbc.ca won’t play properly for me. Buffering more than playing.

  45. Derek says:

    Has anyone found a way to watch full highlights from a selected Olympic game rather than just a single play? Man this CBC website is a mess.

  46. justDOit says:

    jp,

    Well too late for this game, but there are a few things that might help next time. Heavy buffering is usually a problem on the other end or in between you and the server, but check this:

    Disable ad blocker extensions and safe surf type stuff (sometimes that’s part of your antivirus software).

    Make sure your antivirus isn’t running a scan.

    If the cbc stream is a flash stream, right click on the screen and go to settings – increase computer cache to maximum.

    Make sure your internet connection can handle at least 5 – 6 Mbps download (HD stream is 3.2 Mbps). http://www.speedtest.net is a good test site.

  47. Lowetide says:

    I’d have to look it up, but Duncan Keith had a much better defensive reputation early on. “Two-way D’ that type of thing. I don’t recall anyone but Ralph Krueger talking about Justin Schultz as a two-way defender.

  48. Bag of Pucks says:

    JSchultz seems like the perfect candidate for a bridge contract. Frees up some cap space for a short-term FA overpay to land the mythical 1D, with the hope that one of Nurse/Klefbom/JSchultz/Marincin will be ready to assume the mantle when the FA is up for renewal.

    Fiscally, the Oilers tend to operate in this optimistic la la land where all their 9s & 10s evolve into Aces. I think it would be a lot more prudent of them to start placing a few more conservative bets contractually.

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall to hear MacT’s opinions on the Eberle contract terms. Wonder if they align with Tambellini’s projected value for that player?

  49. anonymous says:

    I’d be ok with trading him for the right deal. Maybe it’s just all the hype that came with his signing and his ahl debut but I think he’s been a little dissapointing. Also the way he ditched Anaheim makes me think of him as more of a mercenary. Probably will always have to overpay him.

  50. jp says:

    justDOit,

    Thanks, I’ll try to get that stuff sorted out for tomorrows game. The feed Oilanderp provided wasn’t bad though.

  51. fifthcartel says:

    From Hockeys Future Top 20 Blackhawks Prospects 2004.

    - 19. Duncan Keith, D
    2nd Round, 57th – 2002, 22, 5’11, 176

    For a player of a smaller stature, Duncan Keith plays big time hockey. He got a lot of
    work with the Norfolk Admirals for the 2003-04 season, playing strong and putting up good numbers during his first full season in the pro arena.

    Noted for his strong work ethic on and off the ice, he is a great skater that does a good job of moving the puck up ice. He has a very strong first pass, which can set the tone for the breakout. He is an exceptional two-way skilled defenseman overall. He needs to continue to add size to endure the brutal style of play in the NHL.

    Keith is a long shot to crack the Blackhawks roster. Starting in Norfolk would be a more realistic move for him. This gives him a huge chance to prove his resiliency. He would be a great prospect for Chicago to have if they needed an immediate call-up, to step in and make an immediate, yet, temporary impact. Unfortunately, due to the lack of space on the Blackhawks roster, higher seeded defensive prospects with the same attributes, this is where he is for the 2004-05 season.

  52. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide:
    I’d have to look it up, but Duncan Keith had a much better defensive reputation early on. “Two-way D’ that type of thing. I don’t recall anyone but Ralph Krueger talking about Justin Schultz as a two-way defender.

    Agreed.

    There’s certainly an aspect of development that has to occur before you’re able to make a true apples to apples comparison, but that said, players do have a ‘personality’ that you can see from the start. Keith, like Subban, has always been tenacious on the puck and I don’t see that same trait in J Schultz. Positionally, I think he has the intelligence to eventually become a very strong positional player and I think I he will be quite effective when that occurs, but I don’t see the competitive fire in him that will make him pester the opposition in the Dzone like Keith does.

    I think he also lacks the top end speed of Keith. He does have excellent lateral movement ala Karlsson though. He’s also one of the best in the league at keeping his head up to read the play while stick-handling in traffic. The guy’s a bloody savant when it comes to sensing the puck on his stick.

  53. 8p0intgame says:

    godot10,

    I am running off a cup of coffee and four expresso shots at the moment so forgive me if this information is inaccurate…

    If I am not mistaken, NHL players are paid for their point totals and TOI rather than their advanced stats or even “saw him good/bad.” I read somewhere a long time ago that, in salary arbitration, the arbiter awards a salary in the range of players with similar point totals. A quick skim of NHL defensemen (admittedly done a few weeks ago) at TSN.ca suggested that Justin Schultz would be awarded $4,000,000+ In arbitration. If the Oilers can sign him for less than 3 million per season, I am all for keeping him around. I might even be okay with 3.5 million if MacT can assemble a functional “defence by committee” (which I doubt he can if what Cassie Campbell said on CBC radio a couple months ago is true – by the way, did the Oilers hire Gretzky yet?). If not, I say trade him.

  54. Ryan says:

    Missed the game due to work, but good gord, 3-1 over Norway?

    It always amazes me at the Olympics how teams with few if any NHL’ers can stay close to an all star Canadian roster, but the Oilers get blown out by the top tier teams regularly.

    I mean if you think about it, what do the Kings or Sharks have on Team Canada’s roster with the exception of experience playing together.

    I wonder if the Oilers could lose 3-1 to Team Canada? Nah, I doubt it.

  55. RexLibris says:

    Truth:
    Admittedly, I don’t know where you go to see these Vollman Sledgehammer charts but I do see they are an accurate portrayal of a combination of useful items.What would it take to see what Erik Karlsson’s chart looked like in his sophomore campaign (2010-2011)? I think they play a very similar style and they both have struggled defensively early in their careers.Karlsson has clearly been able to offset his defensive woes with his offense.

    LT posted one link, but I know a guy who sells them out of his van behind the Red Rooster near the mall.

  56. justDOit says:

    Ryan,

    Snoreway played pretty tight. Sprinkle a few good players into a good system, where all the players can skate and know the big ice game, and it’s not too surprising. Any time Canada tried a cross-crease pass, it was full of Norwegians. Passes back to the point ended up with a shot into a crowd, most times. Canada needs to keep building on their international game, which prior to this week, was non-existent.

  57. jp says:

    Lowetide,

    Bag of Pucks,

    Agreed that Schultz doesn’t have the tenacity of Keith, and certainly hasn’t been considered a “2-way” defender by most. Iirc, his scouting reports did project a capable and relatively effective player in his own end though. He was never going to be a shutdown guy, but decent at least. That’s my memory and this link seems to agree: http://lastwordonsports.com/2012/06/26/justin-schultz-set-for-free-agency/

    “potential to be a top pairing defender in the NHL”. He’s got a ways to go, but I still think he might figure out his own end.

  58. G Money says:

    Relative to Jultz, Duncan Keith, like Erik Karlsson, is a “not going to be as good as this guy, but has some similarities” type of comparison.

    Also in fairness to the comparison of their development paths, Keith had 150+ games in the AHL before he stepped into the league. Keith’s first season in the NHL wasn’t all that thrilling either (21 pts, -11) on a piss poor Hawks team.

    So call his first year as a “good” player his second season, when he was roundabout 230 pro games of which 80 were in the NHL.

    Jultz so far has about 140 games in the NHL and AHL combined.

    I’ve always kind of felt that 200 games is about the benchmark you need to get to in order to be able to see what kind of defense a player is going to play.

    So any assessment of Jultz still talks an awful lot to potential – he is not fully formed as a player, no matter how tempting it may be to slag him.

  59. Jon K says:

    The Oilers are uniquely positioned to know how Justin Schultz’s defensive play projects, they have more access and information about the player than any other team. If they were good at projecting, and determined that he isn’t going to improve significantly, they might be able to move the player now while his value and reputation are relatively good. If they think he is going to improve in defensive play, they should keep him.

    The downside is that if they wrong in their projection, we end up with the costs of spending several NHL seasons developing a defensive liability. So we lose the value capital of the player, and we hurt the team by developing him in the NHL. Or if they project wrong and he does improve, well, we let him go and he succeeds elsewhere. Being risk averse might actually mean moving the player sooner than later.

    The major problem is that I, and I imagine many others, have little to no faith in the Oilers’ ability to project the development of pro prospects.

    On an unrelated note, does anyone know how Marincin look in the Slovak’s stomping?

  60. kooler says:

    Speaking of D, just saw the Belov goal…..why can’t we set him up for blasts like that. He has some good crank.

    Happy for the guy…nice celebration.

  61. Fauntleroy says:

    Justin Schultz is a pretty good poster child for the Edmonton Oilers’ piss-poor development philosophy. On a competent team he would have been sheltered or left in the AHL to develop his game, but on the Oilers he is thrown to the wolves and has to figure out how to solve his deficiencies on the fly. Hopefully he’s not already so broken he can’t be fixed. I see him as the new Tom Poti: he could be a good NHLer if a team works with his weaknesses instead of putting him into a position he’s not ready for.

  62. anonymous says:

    Fauntleroy,

    No team would have left Shultz in the ahl given his production.

  63. Pouzar says:

    Fauntleroy:
    Justin Schultz is a pretty good poster child for the Edmonton Oilers’ piss-poor development philosophy. On a competent team he would have been sheltered or left in the AHL to develop his game, but on the Oilers he is thrown to the wolves and has to figure out how to solve his deficiencies on the fly. Hopefully he’s not already so broken he can’t be fixed. I see him as the new Tom Poti: he could be a good NHLer if a team works with his weaknesses instead of putting him into a position he’s not ready for.

    1. How do you think his recruitment would have went when the Oilers brass along with Hall walks into the room and says “Hey Kid, we’d love to have you but we can only guarantee you an AHL minutes at the moment…say hi to Ken Holland for me.”

    2. And there’s that and the fact he was destroying the AHL in the lockout.

    But I agree he should only be playing bottom pairing/sheltered minutes in a perfect world.

  64. delooper says:

    I doubt Justin Schultz would get much out of the AHL now. He was heading for the scoring title during the NHL lockout — when the AHL was arguably a better league than it is now because of the NHL talent.

    People getting anxious about J. Schultz are kind of exercising their paranoia. He’s a defenceman and the Oilers don’t have the infrastructure for him to have a gentle introduction to the league. So we knew these kinds of things were going to happen — even if the Oilers were a better team.

  65. Numenius says:

    kooler:
    Speaking of D, just saw the Belov goal…..why can’t we set him up for blasts like that. He has some good crank.

    Happy for the guy…nice celebration.

    It’s hard not to conclude that someone is stifling the Russians playing for the Oil.

  66. book¡je says:

    Numenius: It’s hard not to conclude that someone is stifling the Russians playing for the Oil.

    It’s hard not to conclude that someone is stifling the Russians players playing for the Oil

    I fixed it for you.

  67. stevezie says:

    Fauntleroy,

    I know its already been said, but leaving Schultz in the AHL would have been insanity. Yes, it would be nice if Edmonton had a better defensive corps, but we don’t. That Schultz is one of our best defensive options is an indictment of team depth, not developement strategies.

    He had one of the best statistical seasons the AHL had ever seen!!!! That’s like telling your valedictorian student he has to repeat grade twelve because you think he’ll struggle with UNiversity level social studies. He probably will, but you have to go to University to fix that.

    And this is why I hate, despise, and loathe the “because oilers” meme we all love throwing around here. It is depressive, self-defeating, circular reasoning that is at best just another form of braggin how hard you’ve had it. Cry some more about out it, you babies, see if that fixes anything.

    Of course, I hate memes in general.

  68. anonymous says:

    Numenius: It’s hard not to conclude that someone is stifling the Russians playing for the Oil.

    It’s hard not to conclude that their isn’t a dislike of Russians among the Canadian hockey contingent in general. I mean really, how does yak not even get nominated for the Calder?

  69. Lowetide says:

    anonymous: It’s hard not to conclude that their isn’t a dislike of Russians among the Canadian hockey contingent in general. I mean really, how does yak not even get nominated for the Calder?

    Because he’s Russian. Really. Can we get a new quizz master? God.

  70. icecastles says:

    stevezie: Of course, I hate memes in general.

    Completely agree.

  71. G Money says:

    stevezie: Of course, I hate memes in general.

    Do you hate them as much as LT hated Smid?

  72. anonymous says:

    Lowetide,

    Well I think the celebration and Don Cherry’s reaction to it may have started it but I remember Theo Fleury doing much the same thing and not getting a negative reaction.

    Granted the circumstances were different. Overtime and playoffs

  73. book¡je says:

    You know, I think its time we say goodbye to Yakupov and Schultz. Last week LT traded Yak and this week it’s Schultz.

    It’s just like how he got rid of Smid.

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

  74. book¡je says:

    stevezie:
    Fauntleroy,

    I know its already been said, but leaving Schultz in the AHL would have been insanity. Yes, it would be nice if Edmonton had a better defensive corps, but we don’t. That Schultz is one of our best defensive options is an indictment of team depth, not developement strategies.

    He had one of the best statistical seasons the AHL had ever seen!!!! That’s like telling your valedictorian student he has to repeat grade twelve because you think he’ll struggle with UNiversity level social studies. He probably will, but you have to go to University to fix that.

    And this is why I hate, despise, and loathe the “because oilers” meme we all love throwing around here. It is depressive, self-defeating, circular reasoning that is at best just another form of braggin how hard you’ve had it. Cry some more about out it, you babies, see if that fixes anything.

    Of course, I hate memes in general.

    because Oiler’s fan

  75. commonfan14 says:

    G Money: stevezie: Of course, I hate memes in general.
    Do you hate them as much as LT hated Smid?

    He only hates them because MacT lost the room.

  76. icecastles says:

    anonymous: Granted the circumstances were different. Overtime and playoffs

    That goal was as close to overtime as you could get, and the disallowed Gagner goal earlier heightened the drama.

    Plus, it was in the first week of the season. Which is usually as close as the Oilers generally come to the playoffs.

  77. anonymous says:

    icecastles,

    Agreed, I’m sure Don and other media people likely only watched the highlights.

  78. G Money says:

    commonfan14: He only hates them because MacT lost the room.

    True. But MacT lost the room because he hates Russians.

  79. G Money says:

    icecastles: Plus, it was in the first week of the season. Which is usually as close as the Oilers generally come to the playoffs.

    Ouch.

    Zing!

    But ouch.

  80. icecastles says:

    G Money,

    I’ll be here all week.

  81. icecastles says:

    If LT ever looses the lowetide.ca domain, I think he should rename the blog “Tier Three Fans.” That has to describe us to a T.

    I almost feel bad for the people who come here for intelligent discourse and deep insight.

    …poop.

  82. anonymous says:

    icecastles:

    I almost feel bad for the people who come here for intelligent discourse and deep insight.

    …poop.

    Compared to other oiler specific blogs this is Harvard.

  83. icecastles says:

    anonymous: Compared to other oiler specific blogs this is Harvard.

    Yup. But sometimes we are more like the Harvard Lampoon than the Harvard Gazette.

  84. stevezie says:

    icecastles,

    Is there an emoticon for glaring? I wouldn’t use it, because I hate those too, but I am willing to admit I would have thought about it here.

    Because yeah, obviously it worked.

    It would be pretty hilarious if Tier Three Fans became a famous blog and an eternal embarassment to the org.

  85. RexLibris says:

    stevezie:
    icecastles,

    a famous blog

    Ran that through Google Translate a few times and I still couldn’t make sense of it.

  86. Bank Shot says:

    I don’t like Keith as a comparison for Schultz. It’s a different play style for sure.

    Perhaps Cam Fowler. Roaming defencemen who both didn’t have a clue about the D-side when they entered the league. Of course Fowler is only 22 now and has figured out that stuff.

    Schultz is getting in the age range where players are starting to be what they are going to be. My hopes for defensive play ever becoming a strength for him are pretty dim.

    I would absolutely dangle Schultz in a deal that would allow the Oilers to upgrade to a more complete defender.

    I appreciate skill as much as the next guy, just not so much when that skill cab only play half the game. Successful teams spend most of their money on two way players.

  87. stevezie says:

    RexLibris,

    In response to the comment: “If LT ever looses the lowetide.ca domain, I think he should rename the blog “Tier Three Fans.” ”

    I think that would be a good name for a blog.

    The other part was in response to getting rick-rolled, which I’m not going to dignify with further comment.

  88. Old School G says:

    Let’s just get J Schultz a calm, steady defence partner. Maybe have J Schultz and (veteran, bigger body, calm) defensive partner slot in on the second unit, with Schultz, J. getting his PP1 time. Calm is contagious. I think our boy just needs a better version of Belov, really like Belov as our #6 guy, to get comfortable with. There’s the player in his spot that we become relevant with again.

  89. russ99 says:

    Bank Shot:

    I appreciate skill as much as the next guy,just not so much when that skill cab only play half the game. Successful teams spend most of their money on two way players.

    No they don’t. Look at every cup winner the last 6 years, they spend in elite offensive talent, top pairing defenseman and quality goalies.

    We’ve got 1 out of 3.

    Besides, average to above average 2-way players (both forwards and defenseman) are available in FA every summer, some get big contracts, most don’t.

    MacT and Eakins talk a good game about “90 foot players” but you need many different kinds of players to win. Dumping our skill guys and turning the Oilers into a “two-way” team means we won’t score. Boston and LA can do it because they have generational players at key positions, Chara and Bergeron in Boston and Quick in LA. Emulating this style of hockey without that kind of talent is an exercise in futility, and will strip the club of it’s one long-term endearing quality – no matter how bad we were, we could always put the puck in the net.

    I’d feel better about that if I had any faith that Eakins grasps the concept of a shutdown line. So far it doesn’t look like it to me, other than his overuse of an overwhelmed 4th line that can’t create any offensive chances. We’ll see if/when Mac to addresses the third line wingers we obviously need.

    Punting Justin Schultz to become a more “two-way” team would be a total waste.

  90. Glock9 says:

    So much young, untrained talent and skill on this team……. Just need proper coaching and the team would truly be a thing of Beauty ! Amazing offence is a part of good defence and a winning team.

    Sadly, EEkins,smith and bucky are not the trio……Until MacT sucks it up we will continue to flounder…

  91. jp says:

    Old School G:
    Let’s just get J Schultz a calm, steady defence partner. Maybe have J Schultz and (veteran, bigger body, calm) defensive partner slot in on the second unit, with Schultz, J. getting his PP1 time. Calm is contagious. I think our boy just needs a better version of Belov, really like Belov as our #6 guy, to get comfortable with. There’s the player in his spot that we become relevant with again.

    I feel like Nick Schultz and Andrew Ference were once reputed to be calm, veteran players.

  92. Bank Shot says:

    russ99: No they don’t. Look at every cup winner the last 6 years, they spend in elite offensive talent, top pairing defenseman and quality goalies.

    When I wrote two way I was talking about guys that cab okay both ends of the ice. Winning teams spend big money on guys like Toews, Datsyuk, Kopitar, etc.

    Winning teams don’t tend to have more then one offense only player making big bucks. Teams like Boston and Chicago chose to let go Kessels and Campbells on favour of keeping guys like Bergeron and Keith, Seabrook and they keep on winning.

    It’s nice to have guys with super high end puck skills, but it’s better to have guys that can score and play a 200 foot game.

  93. Ivan says:

    icecastles: Completely agree.

    I think I hate you now….

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