Could it be the start of the golden years of Edmonton Oilers hockey like we saw in the 1980’s? As we first reported last month, Justin Schultz left Wisconsin for the NHL and has found a new home north of the border. There was at least six teams after his services according to a Pro Hockey Talk story. Schultz started letting teams know earlier today they were eliminated from his selection process. At least he did it with a phone call to those and not a scumbag way like this decision we saw two years ago. The teams courting him were the New York Rangers, then the Toronto Maple Leafs, and ultimately turning down Ottawa, Vancouver and Minnesota until he placed the phone call to Edmonton and told them he will be joining the Oilers.
Why were teams trying to woo a good player on a team that wasn’t very good this past season? Schultz will sign a two-year, entry-level deal at a fixed cost, it helped bring virtually every team out of the woodwork thanks to him being cost-controlled. Edmonton appears to be a solid force in the Western conference in future seasons if they they can afford to keep their young talent such as Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and new No. 1 draft selection Nail Yakupov. The aforementioned are forwards and they now have a 22-year-old defenseman to insert in their starting lineup. We haven’t seen anything like this before in the salary cap era of the NHL, but Chicago and Pitttsburgh have taken similar routes and have won a Stanley Cup each as a result.
Wonder how bad it feels to be Anaheim. The team that drafted him in 2008 now will see their second-round pick depart to a club in the same conference with nothing in return.