And “the decision” has finally been made – highly sought-after free agent Justin Schultz is going to Edmonton. (Side note: I love how the Oilers stated “they have agreed to terms” with Schultz. The contract was set no matter who signed him so shouldn’t they say “Schultz has agreed to come to the Oilers” instead?)
For those who haven’t followed the Schultz story, here’s a breakdown:
- He was drafted in the second round by the Anaheim Ducks in 2008.
- This year he decided he would leave the University of Wisconsin and start his pro career – but stated from the start that he would not sign with the Ducks.
- A clause in the CBA allows him to declare he is leaving school and open up a 30-day negotiating window with the team that drafted him. If an agreement isn’t reached, he becomes an unrestricted free agent. This is the option Schultz choice.
- This week, he met with his agents and narrowed down the list of teams he would possibly go to and then arranged meetings with each one after which he would make a decision.
As a fan of one of the teams on that short list, I have been very split on if I wanted him to come or not. On one side, he is a touted prospect that is supposed to be “can’t miss” and would shore up the teams’ defense even more than it already is. But something happened between him and Anaheim which just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I also don’t like how his signing has become a show. Part of it is absolutely the medias’ fault as they made sure to talk about every aspect of the process. But he isn’t completely innocent in how this went down as he had to know that would happen if he did it this way.
Either way, he will not be a Ranger. I wish him luck with the Oilers and do hope he can live up to the hype for his sake. Anyone who wishes otherwise…well I’ll just say I disagree with you.