JERRY, IT’S FRANK COSTANZA! MR. STEINBRENNER’S HERE, GEORGE IS DEAD, CALL ME BACK

It’s all happening! $3.675M is basically his salary and bonus last year. The internet is melting. We’ll talk about it on the Lowdown at 10! Buy canned products and store your water!

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49 Responses to "JERRY, IT’S FRANK COSTANZA! MR. STEINBRENNER’S HERE, GEORGE IS DEAD, CALL ME BACK"

  1. Ben says:

    WHAT!?!? That’s even more than complete, all-round #1 defenseman Andrew Ference makes!!!

  2. LMHF#1 says:

    Are they preparing to clear the decks for someone on a big contract next year or something?

    Very odd contract behavior this offseason.

  3. Bag of Pucks says:

    I think anything south of $4mil is about the best we could expect with the ‘golden boy’

    Reposting this from the last thread. Hope that’s ok.

    Here’s the thing with Taylor Hall carrying the puck in via the optimal ‘controlled zone entry.’

    When something is so obviously to the benefit of the attacking team, the defense is going to modify it’s tactics and positioning in an attempt to take that away. The Oilers gameplan can’t simply be give the puck to Hall in the neutral zone and let him pressure the D with his speed. Doing so makes them one-dimensional and predictable.

    This is why Dellow’s analysis of dump-ins impacting Hall’s corsi seemed very chicken and egg to me. Was Hall losing corsi effectiveness because of some alleged team philosophy to dump the puck in more, or was Hall simply left too often with nothing but a poor dump-in option as team’s skewed their defensive zone coverage to deny him controlled zone entry?

    Imo, Eakins needs to create far more attacking options centered around Hall’s speed and the team needs to vary those up to keep the opposition on its toes. Imagine a scenario where Nuge is shooting a well placed soft dump-in on Hall’s wing. If you’re a D-tasked with turning to retrieve that puck with Hall bearing down on you at full RPM, that is a nightmare scenario every bit as worrisome as defending Hall on the rush.

    Hall’s speed and skill is so over the top, using him as a possession option only limits his effectiveness. He can easily be one of the best puck retrieval players in the league as well, and most importantly, using him in both fashions maximizes his strengths. This is where I would hope Eakins and Dellow can have productive discussions (i.e. analytics informed by tactical game-planning and opposition scouting).

    Taylor Hall is like Randy Moss. Defensive zone coverage will spend significant resources on game planning to take him away. The key is to give the player options so the defense can’t do that. In football, if they rotate a safety over to double team him, you run the WR underneath that coverage with crossing patterns, picks and bubble screens. When they walk the coverage up tight to take that away, you go over the top. More importantly, if a team can matchup well against Hall’s strength – say for example, they have a very fast D man like Subban that can pressure him at the blueline, than you tweak the gameplan accordingly to maximize Hall’s outlet pass options. In other words, when teams over rotate to take away Hall, that should create space for Nuge and Ebs and the gameplan is to maximize Hall’s strengths as a passer and playmaker.

    Saying Taylor Hall should simply carry the puck in all the time is too simplistic a conclusion to a complex and fluid problem imo

  4. Hammers says:

    As I just said a $1 million overpay based on ability . Hasn’t proven anything yet ! Maybe puts pressure on him to play a complete game and if it does then I will rethink it . Petry is underpaid .

  5. Hammers says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    I think anything south of $4mil is about the best we could expect with the ‘golden boy’

    Reposting this from the last thread. Hope that’s ok.

    Here’s the thing with Taylor Hall carrying the puck in via the optimal ‘controlled zone entry.’

    When something is so obviously to the benefit of the attacking team, the defense is going to modify it’s tactics and positioning in an attempt to take that away. The Oilers gameplan can’t simply be give the puck to Hall in the neutral zone and let him pressure the D with his speed. Doing so makes them one-dimensional and predictable.

    This is why Dellow’s analysis of dump-ins impacting Hall’s corsi seemed very chicken and egg to me. Was Hall losing corsi effectiveness because of some alleged team philosophy to dump the puck in more, or was Hall simply left too often with nothing but a poor dump-in option as team’s skewed their defensive zone coverage to deny him controlled zone entry?

    Imo, Eakins needs to create far more attacking options centered around Hall’s speed and the team needs to vary those up to keep the opposition on its toes. Imagine a scenario where Nuge is shooting a well placed soft dump-in on Hall’s wing. If you’re a D-tasked with turning to retrieve that puck with Hall bearing down on you at full RPM, that is a nightmare scenario every bit as worrisome as defending Hall on the rush.

    Hall’s speed and skill is so over the top, using him as a possession option only limits his effectiveness. He can easily be one of the best puck retrieval players in the league as well, and most importantly, using him in both fashions maximizes his strengths. This is where I would hope Eakins and Dellow can have productive discussions (i.e. analytics informed by tactical game-planning and opposition scouting).

    Taylor Hall is like Randy Moss. Defensive zone coverage will spend significant resources on game planning to take him away. The key is to give the player options so the defense can’t do that. In football, if they rotate a safety over to double team him, you run the WR underneath that coverage with crossing patterns, picks and bubble screens. When they walk the coverage up tight to take that away, you go over the top. More importantly, if a team can matchup well against Hall’s strength – say for example, they have a very fast D man like Subban that can pressure him at the blueline, than you tweak the gameplan accordingly to maximize Hall’s outlet pass options. In other words, when teams over rotate to take away Hall, that should create space for Nuge and Ebs and the gameplan is to maximize Hall’s strengths as a passer and playmaker.

    Saying Taylor Hall should simply carry the puck in all the time is too simplistic a conclusion to a complex and fluid problem imo

    Good points on Hall but for me Yak needs to do the same thing . Eakins needs to let him spread his wings and use his speed . We have a player with so much potential not being used correctly .

  6. Ducey says:

    Not a surprise:

    1)Offensive defenseman get paid. Always have.

    2)Gardiner just got $4.05 M x 5. He had 31 pts in 80 games. Jultz had 33 in 74. Both are 24.

    3)PK just got $9 million x forever. That likely bumped up everyone’s salary.

    4)I know the fancy stats may not love Jultz, but players get pad based on boxcars, not Corsi.

    5) This is just part of winning the lottery for him. They had to pay him max on a 2 yr deal to get him. That is going to impact his salary going forward.

  7. Lynas1 says:

    I have no problem with this deal. Money is fine, term is good if you want to push him to improve under Craig Ramsey’s guidance, or he’s trade bait for someone better. As Schultz is now, he needs a lot of work on his game to be paid the big bucks.

  8. russ99 says:

    As I posted on the previous thread, somethings gotta give before or during next summer.

    Even if the cap goes up we’ll need to extend Yak (big raise), Schultz (likely small raise) Marincin (medium raise) and Arcobello (?).

    Aulie, Lander are also RFAs and Fasth, Petry and Joensuu are the UFAs.

    If the cap doesn’t go up, we’ll have $18.5M to give raises to and/or replace all those players.

    MacT needs to stop making deals for today and worrying about next year later.

  9. Melman says:

    russ99,

    Let’s hope Yak is due for a big raise next year – that’ll mean he’s pumped 25+ behind the red line

  10. russ99 says:

    Melman,

    He’s a first pick coming off a first pick ELC. He’ll get that big raise here or somewhere else.

    Hope we’re right and it’s here… :)

  11. Hammers says:

    russ99:
    As I posted on the previous thread, somethings gotta give before or during next summer.

    Even if the cap goes upwe’ll need to extend Yak (big raise), Schultz (likely small raise) Marincin (big raise) and Arcobello (?).

    Aulie, Lander are also RFAs and Fasth, Petry and Joensuu are the UFAs.

    If the cap doesn’t go up, we’ll have $18.5M to give raises to and/or replace all those players.

    MacT needs to stop making deals for today and worrying about next year later.

    He has an ace in the whole . Nurse & Klefbom both come in at under 2 $mill together so Yak , Marincin & either Arco or Lander or both if proven can be signed . I don’t see Petry & Schultz both here but whomever we get needs signed .

  12. Bank Shot says:

    Gene Principe @GenePrincipe
    “Justin has Norris trophy potential and I don’t see many people disagreeing with me on that.” C.MacTavish on J.Schultz.

    Why on earth would you say something like that?

    The hubris that remains in this org despite crushing defeat after crushing defeat is astounding.

  13. Lowetide says:

    “I think for our franchise it was a good compromise.” Craig MacTavish on J.Schultz’ one year-$3.675 million dollar deal.
    We wanted to do as an organization is buy ourselves a little time…..
    I think he’s going to be a great player and a great Oiler.”
    I disagree with the perception on the defensive side of things. I’ve always believed he’s very good defensively.
    He showed me at the end of last season he was managing the decisions on when to probe.
    That gap is significant (dollars)
    Justin schultz has Norris trophy potential.
    “He’s going to give Justin a very experienced perspective.” – MacT on new assistant coach Craig Ramsay working with #Oilers blueliners
    $4m in cap space
    3.675 million for Schultz.
    “I disagree with the analytics on our group.”
    “Possession and points in the standings are directly correlated”
    Going into camp with the group we have right now (barring anything unforeseen). Leon, anton lander, marc arcobello mentioned as options.
    Making a move: “there’s not a deal there right now!”

  14. PunjabiOil says:

    Would have preferred it 2 years at this price.

    I think it’s more of a sign of goodwill – not entirely convinced on the player, but the hope is he develops and takes a more friendly long-term deal when negotiating the longer term contract next summer.

    Smid remarked how he appreciated the Oilers paying him an additional 500K/year from what he anticipated on his 2 year bridge deal.

    The Oilers are nowhere near the cap – so I suspect this might be the motive. Otherwise makes no sense – they had the leverage.

    __________

    - but the comment of not rushing the player and then going into the season with no competition at center, despite a lengthy list of free agent options, just boils my blood.

    He erases all the good he did this off-season by not addressing a glaring hole, which was easily solvable.

    It’s quite sad, actually.

  15. vinotintazo says:

    russ99,

    Yes I’d love to have raise problems, that means players are playing well come next year!

  16. commonfan14 says:

    Jason Gregor ‏@JasonGregor 39m
    “Baring anything unforeseen we will go to camp with this group.” MacT on Oilers centre group.

    Sounds like Arco is going to land that bra salesman job.

    He just has to resist the urge to feel anyone’s material by the elevator.

  17. Crooked says:

    Not a crazy number or a long term. I can live with it.

  18. bigbadbruin24 says:

    Lowetide: Making a move: “there’s not a deal there right now!”

    Yes…but tomorrow is another day.

    There is still time before training camps get started and a few teams need to make a move or two. The Oil may indeed be done but it wouldn’t surprise me if a deal fell into their lap before the season starts.

    As for Jultz…nothing wrong with the deal IMHO.

  19. LMHF#1 says:

    LT – after all these years you still don’t accept that it was Smith’s fault?

    I know people loved the guy, but he really screwed that up.

  20. John Chambers says:

    It’s a good deal. Demonstrates to the player that the organization believes in his potential and they’ve invested in veteran coach and players to surround him.

    Schultz is worth investing in, but this deal definitely means that either he or Petry are somewhere else next season.

  21. Hammers says:

    After listening to the McT presser I got 3 things . They really rate Schultz highly and I think partly because he chose Edmonton . He is also expecting Nurse , Klefbom & Marincin to fight it out for that last spot or 2 . Last he Expects Leon to make the team and will be surprised if he doesn’t .

  22. fuzzy muppet says:

    Well say goodbye to Jeff petry. I’d be peeved to no end that his perceived value is less than Justin schultz. (And Nikita nikitin).

    Norris potential for schultz? Laughable.

    Every time I think they are starting to get it…

  23. wheatnoil says:

    This is a significant overpay when compared with similar RFA defensemen in the past few years. It’s not just the one year, it’s the fact that since he’s still an RFA at the end of this deal, he has to be qualified for at least that same amount.

    I think one thing is clear from both this deal and MacT’s verbal about the deal today. MacT thinks much higher of Schultz than the possession numbers suggest and from what I’ve seen of him. Further, Schultz has got himself a good agent (same agency as Petry actually, but I’m not sure if they have the same agent). It’s tough to know exactly what Schultz’s opening ask was for, but the fact that Matty reported that the Gardiner contract was a non-starter for Schultz suggests they were aiming high.

    I like Schultz, however, at the risk of being a broken record with my comments on this blog, I think he’s going to be paid a lot more than the value of what he actually brings to the team. His points are great and he does wonders in the offensive zone, but he’s going to cost a lot for not being a complete defenseman. I really think they should trade him for that reason (edit: not trade him for peanuts or anything, but since he is over-valued, I think they can get better value in return than what he’s worth, either at D or at C).

    I think it’s unlikely that they will. I can’t remember who coined the name, but someone on this blog called him the anti-sideburns. He can seem to do no wrong. Given this, as a fan I really hope he can round out the defensive side of his game. If he’s going to be here and he’s going to get paid, I really hope he can remotely live up to it.

  24. G Money says:

    He basically signed for the same salary as he’s been paid for the last few years (adjustments for base and bonus vs base, of course, but conceptually pretty much the same).

    Did those calling it an overpay seriously believe that the guy who led the Oilers in ice time last year – by a wide margin – was going to take a major pay cut? Seriously?

    Ducey:
    Not a surprise:

    1)Offensive defenseman get paid.Always have.

    2)Gardiner just got $4.05 M x 5.He had 31 pts in 80 games.Jultz had 33 in 74.Both are 24.

    3)PK just got $9 million x forever.That likely bumped upeveryone’s salary.

    4)I know the fancy stats may not love Jultz, but players get pad based on boxcars, not Corsi.

    5) This is just part of winning the lottery for him.They had to pay him max on a 2 yr deal to get him.That is going to impact his salary going forward.

    ^^^ This ^^^

  25. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide:
    “I think for our franchise it was a good compromise.” Craig MacTavish on J.Schultz’ one year-$3.675 million dollar deal.
    We wanted to do as an organization isbuy ourselves a little time…..
    I think he’s going to be a great player and a great Oiler.”
    I disagree with the perception on the defensive side of things. I’ve always believed he’s very good defensively.
    He showed me at the end of last season he was managing the decisions on when to probe.
    That gap is significant (dollars)
    Justin schultz has Norris trophy potential.
    “He’s going to give Justin a very experienced perspective.” – MacT on new assistant coach Craig Ramsay working with #Oilers blueliners
    $4m in cap space
    3.675 million for Schultz.
    “I disagree with the analytics on our group.”
    “Possession and points in the standings are directly correlated”
    Going into camp with the group we have right now (barring anything unforeseen). Leon, anton lander, marc arcobello mentioned as options.
    Making a move: “there’s not a deal there right now!”

    Where does one buy the eyeglasses that MacT is wearing when watching the games?

    Is the prescription out of date or do they just drip feed MDMA into the corneas?

  26. G Money says:

    Some context for those braying at MacT’s comments about Jultz:

    If MacT really believed that his minute munching offensive defenseman was *also* “good defensively” and truly has “Norris potential”, he would have signed him to a 5M+ 2 or 3 year deal. That would be a steal.

    And based on prior verbiage, *that*’s what I was worried about, that MacT really did think Jultz was not only part of “the core”, but had already proven it.

    A one year contract at no increase from the previous year tells me that MacT is as concerned about Jultz’s defensive game as anyone else here is.

    The “Norris” verbiage is all about a. making the player feel as good as possible about the contract, and b. defusing the criticism from clued-out fans who honestly believe that any player in Jultz’s position would have spent a season playing 23 mins a night and then agreed to a massive pay cut from his rookie contract.

  27. Cobbler says:

    I like the deal. Gives them the year to see if he will improve. I also see MacT’s verbal of “Norris trophy potential” and “I don’t feel the analytics tell the whole story” as more him defending the term of the signing and sending the message to Newport and Schultz of “OK, now show me”.

    The verbal says one thing. the deal indicates uncertainty.

    this is a good prudent move by the org to see what Shultz will bring, before committing long term.

    I am for more concerned about the exposure on the Petry deal.

  28. Cobbler says:

    G Money,

    Agree completely. You beat me to it!

  29. Bag of Pucks says:

    I guess this is how you manage the ‘feelings’ of the present day athlete.

    You tell them their sh#t doesn’t stink when their diaper’s overflowing.

    I don’t have a prob with MacT pumping Jultz’ tires with Norris aspirations. It’s his neck on the line for the player & contract.

    But saying ‘he’s very good defensively’ is denying reality.

  30. russ99 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Where did Tambellini get a MacT costume, and where did he stash the real MacT?

    I get the positive message before camp, but there’s a lot there that clashes with reality.

  31. godot10 says:

    wheatnoil:
    This is a significant overpay when compared with similar RFA defensemen in the past few years. It’s not just the one year, it’s the fact that since he’s still an RFA at the end of this deal, he has to be qualified for at least that same amount.

    The market rate for young defensemen of the Schultzian type is about $3.5 for an RFA year, and $6 million for an UFA year a few years out.

    Jake Gardiner (4RFA x $3.5 + 1UFA x $6 million) == 5 x $4 million
    Dmitri Kulikov (2RFA x $3.5 + 1UFA x $6 million) == 3 x $4.33

    So Schultz’s contract is not ridiculously out of line. (Jeff Petry is signficantly underpaid). The player is betting on himself. If he doesn’t improve, qualifying offers each year to UFA status is 4 x $3.65 which is similar to what Gardiner got. On a bridge deal, the Oilers don’t have the risk if he bombs, but they “lose” if he plays well.

    I did more comparable earlier in the summer on Petry thread with other D, demonstrating the current market for a good young D is about $3.5 million for an RFA year, and $6 million for an UFA year a couple of years in the future.

    Subban got $3.75 million in the 2nd year of his transitional deal when the cap was projected to be much lower. As a percentage of the cap, it would be over $4 million on an equivalent deal today. There were also not a lot of comparables at that point and cap uncertainty and a new GM.

  32. Woodguy says:

    Re-post from the previous thread:

    Travis Yost with a great graph in response to MacT saying Shultz is a potential Norris winner.

    All data is 2nd years pts/gm and RelCor

    https://twitter.com/TravisHeHateMe/status/505399177195450369

    Its not really close.

    Actually Radko Gudas is close:

    https://twitter.com/TravisHeHateMe/status/505402036062404609

  33. Ducey says:

    Ah, Twitter. Where the cool people hang out..

    People need to understand the concept of “potential”.

    That’s of course unless people think that because Schultz had a poor Corsi, on a lousy team, in his first two years in the league, he will always have a poor Corsi.

    If that’s the case, then those people are not as smart as they think they are.

    Those same people may want to explain the outrage they express should anyone suggest Yak may not turn out to be a superstar. Oh, right, he was on a lousy team, in his first two years….

    The guy has 4 yrs until he hits his prime. He will likely have the offense at that point to be considered a Norris trophy candidate.. Will he have the defense? On a better team, with some help, decent goaltending, and with lots more experience? Its doubtful, buts its possible.

    Anyway, the smart people should be able to figure out what MacT was doing there.

  34. B S says:

    I think the deal is good. As G-money and others have said, it’s about as good as you can expect for the Oilers #1 Dman by minutes. Schultz is still an RFA, the amount doesn’t start with a 4, and we at least have our offensive Dman. even if he doesn’t improve this is about what we would expect the team to pay him anyway.

    Regarding the MacT’s “defensive” comments, and the “disagree with analytics”: does anyone really expect him to sign a player to a contract than degrade him shortly afterwards, especially given all the talk of “asset managment” on this blog? MSM doesn’t think for themselves, and eastern GMs seem to rely on word of mouth to learn about Western Conference players.

    Also, I think (as in my interpretation) MacT’s point was that Schultz has the raw skill-set to be a Karlsson-like #1 dman, but has not yet gained the experience, or positioning to perform that way. I.e. his possession stats aren’t great, but it’s due to errors in judgment rather than a lack of the skill necessary which would be the problem with say Ference, who you would not expect to improve any further. Learning not to make stupid mistakes is the job of every young Dman, and if he does it Schultz could end up being exceptional, but the possession stats can’t predict whether he’ll ‘get it’, only suggest that he hasn’t gotten it yet.

  35. raventalon40 says:

    You all just said what I was going to say. MacT is a master tactician. At least when it comes to PR.

  36. Frank The Dog says:

    If the coaching and the roster come together as hoped and planned, and the Oil have a breakout year, MacT will be in a strong bargaining position, if only because the Oil would be less unattractive to the UFA pool and thus attract better quality UFA’s and/or at less of a premium.
    Add to that the fact that there is a good amount of D talent ripening on the farm, means that MacT will have quite a lot more choice in D than he has right now.

    I don’t think it’s likely that Jultz will put up a total package of numbers he wants to get paid for right now. I think he will put up good numbers, but the choice that MacT may have then as opposed to now, will allow MacT to get him closer to “true” market rate.

    Master negotiator. Defer the arm wrestling until the playing field is more level, both for Jultz and Petry, then offer them fair, but not extortionate deals with alternatives hanging out your back pocket.

  37. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    sorry to dine and dash, but I’ve got a lot going on these days.

    new post, profiling our mutual friend, Bruce McCurdy:

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2014/08/meet-blogger-bruce-mccurdy/

  38. Woodguy says:

    Thank gord there’s more sanity in this thread.

    People who I normally respect on twitter were tearing off their clothes, smearing ashes on their faces and wearing sack clothe over this deal.

    More than one person suggested offering $2.5 x2 years and letting him sit if he doesn’t sign.

    Managers manage people too, and expectations, and groups of people, etc. etc.

    There’s a time to hold to a gun to someone’s head because that’s the best course of action for the team.

    This is not one of those times.

  39. hoser313 says:

    This is probably as good a deal as MacT could get. Lots of factors to consider in this – which most of you have noted.

    By my eye, he looked better defensively in the second half this year. Probably not “much better” but better is still better.

  40. wheatnoil says:

    Woodguy:
    Thank gord there’s more sanity in this thread.

    People who I normally respect on twitter were tearing off their clothes, smearing ashes on their faces and wearing sack clothe over this deal.

    More than one person suggested offering $2.5 x2 years and letting him sitif he doesn’t sign.

    Managers manage people too, and expectations, and groups of people, etc. etc.

    There’s a time to hold to a gun to someone’s head because that’s the best course of action for the team.

    This is not one of those times.

    I don’t think there’s reason to claim the sky is falling. I’d be much more concerned if they signed $7 x 7 or something like that. That said, I think you can afford to play hardball with everyone but your core if you think there’s a significant difference in value. I wouldn’t expect Schultz to sign $2.5 x 2, but I was hoping they would do something a little lower in this deal or at least tack on the extra year if it was going to be above $3.5.

    I think the Subban comparison is a clear example of how you can play hardball all along the line and still sign a play long-term. The difference there is that Subban probably deserved a better bridge deal or a long-term contract at the time of his bridge signing. In my opinion, Schultz doesn’t.

    At the end of the day, my objection to this deal is not so much to the deal itself but to the organization’s view of the player. I object to Schultz being part of the core. I disagree with MacT’s assessment of him as a player and I disagree with his suggested ceiling. Given MacT’s assessment of Schultz, this deal makes perfect sense. It doesn’t based off my assessment.

    Truly, I hope I’m wrong. It wouldn’t be the first and certainly won’t be the last time I’m horribly wrong about a player. Three years ago I was pencilling in Hamilton onto the Oilers 3rd or 4th line right around now. I don’t think Schultz will turn out to be the core player that they’re hoping he’ll be. I’m glad MacT has some hesitation about his own hopes for his potential as well.

    If I’m wrong, I’ll gladly eat humble pie and cheer like hell when he hoists the Cup in Edmonton.

  41. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    No concern on the transaction terms. But….I really don’t see the percentage in MacT suggesting publicly he has potential for Norris trophy consideration. Odds are alarmingly against that – close to nil for Schultz, but it will be trotted out next go around on the contract talks. Just a piece of leverage he really didn’t need to arm the agent with unnecessarily. MacT must get better on the mic. That will come (I hope).

  42. B S says:

    Woodguy,
    I’m actually surprised by the positive response given the numerous criticisms usually leveled at Schultz here. I take as a good sign about the value of the contract. I can’t fairly comment on the response on Twitter since I don’t use it, but I find it tends to make people say stupid things, especially as knee-jerk responses, so don’t take it too hard.

  43. Ryan says:

    What would be more terrifying–the notion promulgated by the MSM that Ference / Schultz was our top-pairing last year or that they were deployed like one?

    http://hockey-graphs.com/2014/06/26/how-do-teams-use-their-top-defensemen/

  44. B S says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    No concern on the transaction terms. But….I really don’t see the percentage in MacT suggesting publicly he has potential for Norris trophy consideration. Odds are alarmingly against that – close to nil for Schultz, but it will be trotted out next go around on the contract talks. Just a piece of leverage he really didn’t need to arm the agent with unnecessarily. MacT must get better on the mic. That will come (I hope).

    If Schultz hasn’t played any better, I think MacT’s response is pretty straight forward: “I was wrong.” MacT can change his mind as much as he wants, I don’t think what he said a year prior will have any affect on negotiations.

    The real danger is other people suggesting Schultz is Norris caliber, but if he’s playing good enough to warrant that kind of compliment, then it’s a good problem.

  45. Ca$h-Money! says:

    I for one still see the kid’s potential on the defensive side. At the AHL level he was superb on both sides of the puck, to the point that Nelson described him as “THE BEST PLAYER IN THE AHL” at the time Hall, Ebs, and RNH were playing there. I respect Nelson and know he saw something there. On top of that, his first 20 or so games after the lockout ended were excellent by eye, but then he clearly got tired.

    I get that last year wasn’t great, but then it was bad for lots of players too stats wise (even Hall). Maybe that compounded on Schultz because he was tasked with such a heavy work load and limited support, coupled with his inexperience at the pro level.

    I agree he hasn’t demonstrated it for any sustained period at this point, but those writing off his ability to get substantially better from this point forward are selling low in my opinion.

  46. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    B S,

    In concept, I agree with you. But, the reality (always) seems to be that these discussions are charged with emotion (lets be practical, they are personal) for the player and MacT – whether purposely or not – just publicly suggested a perception of Justin held by management (and its a damn high standard they see him at) that just adds another wrinkle to arriving at the middle point of mutual expectations – particularly when you might be attempting a multi-year deal next cycle. Will be interesting.

  47. book¡je says:

    Woodguy:

    People who I normally respect on twitter were tearing off their clothes, smearing ashes on their faces and wearing sack clothe over this deal.

    Wow, I just so impressed that you normally respect me! Anyone know how to stop your eyes from burning from the ashes?

  48. Frank The Dog says:

    If you informally tie the ask to Schultz being a Norris Trophy candidate then the ask can be leveraged down when the performance falls short of the over inflated expectations.

    Solid tactic if handled properly. Backfires if he wins the Norris.

  49. Woodguy says:

    book¡je: Wow, I just so impressed that you normally respect me!Anyone know how to stop your eyes from burning from the ashes?

    I meant everyone, but you.

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