Craig MacTavish held court today, with the new Justin Schultz contract the main item on the agenda. I was heartened by some of the verbal, flummoxed by other portions, and came away with one thing certain: my ‘balance’ photo will have to wait a year.
ONE AT A TIME PLEASE
Here are my takes on some MacT comments from this morning.
- On the Schultz contract: “I think for our franchise it was a good compromise.”
I was always interested in knowing the starting point. If it was the entry-level deal, then $2.5M is a more than reasonable number—generous—but they clearly used the entire entry-level number, including bonuses. My suspicion was always the latter, and on that basis it looks to me as though Edmonton gave him the same number as a year ago, and wanted another year of evidence in order to decide on the future.
There is a LOT of anger in the Oilogosphere over this deal, I’m not certain why. Using Subban’s deal as a comparable ignores the fact that Schultz was in fact a free agent on the first deal. I think Edmonton could have gouged Schultz on this deal, but, as has been the case with the heart of the cluster, Edmonton is rewarding the future. Call it the ‘are you sure you want to pull a Pocklington’ and hate it if you wish, but that’s the plan. I bet you a 2-4 that Schultz is signed long term before Yakupov or Petry, who in my opinion are closer to being out the door today than they were before the summer got underway.
Is Justin Schultz worth this deal? No. Could the Oilers have drilled him good? Yes. Is it wise that they didn’t? You tell me.
- On the future of Schultz: “I think he’s going to be a great player and a great Oiler.”
I think they love him as the Paul Coffey in the new cluster. This quote is top dead center if that’s the case.
- On his defensive ability: “I disagree with the perception on the defensive side of things. I’ve always believed he’s very good defensively.”
Beyond an academy award nomination, there’s not much to say here. He could have said “I’m not going to discuss the shortcomings of our player on a day when we’re all feeling good, wait until Ramsay gets here and we’ll see” or he could have said “no comment” and moved on. What he said is not defensible. He would not win the Oscar for this comment.
- On his potential: “Justin Schultz has Norris trophy potential.”
Because he would win it for this one. In a classic case of media conference ‘call and response’ MacT chose (imo) to arc over the followup question with something beyond farce. This might have been taken from The Producers or High Anxiety, absolutely no need for a laugh track.
- On Craig Ramsay: “He’s going to give Justin a very experienced perspective.”
This is probably code for ‘defensive makeover’ but I am encouraged that the Oilers believe in Ramsay this much before he arrives. I wonder if poor old Ramsay, a man who has had stomach issues (serious ones) for a long time, will be able to endure what is going to be a busy year of miracle work.
- On the analytics society panning Schultz universally: “I disagree with the analytics on our group.”
Either MacT believes Staples more than Staples, or he’s simply not going to engage in the public flogging of his newly signed shiny diamond. We’ll see.
- On analytics: “Possession and points in the standings are directly correlated”
Music! Now, please ignore the previous statement. This is encouraging, but I’m very interested in how MacTavish, a smarter man than me, arranges these two quotes in his brain. Because, unless I’m mistaken, they are on a collision course with each other. Conflicted, not entirely at cross purposes, but I’d love an explanation.
- On making a move: “there’s not a deal there right now”
|LEFT WING||CENTER||RIGHT WING|
|TAYLOR HALL||RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS||NAIL YAKUPOV|
|DAVID PERRON||LEON DRAISAITL||JORDAN EBERLE
|BENOIT POULIOT||BOYD GORDON||TEDDY PURCELL|
|MATT HENDRICKS||MARK ARCOBELLO||TYLER PITLICK*|
|LUKE GAZDIC (IR)||ANTON LANDER||IIRO PAKARINEN*|
|LEFT DEFENSE||RIGHT DEFENSE|
|MARTIN MARINCIN||JEFF PETRY|
|NIKITA NIKITIN||MARK FAYNE|
|ANDREW FERENCE||JUSTIN SCHULTZ|
|DARNELL NURSE (NHL OR JR)|