The Wings already got one coveted, rookie free agent and now they offically have thrown their hat in the ring for the other, Justin Schultz.
“We’ve contacted his agents to express the Detroit Red Wings are interested in signing him to a contract,” general manager Ken Holland told MLive.com. “We think there’s a tremendous opportunity in Detroit.”
For those who recently woke up from a coma, Schultz was a Ducks draft pick but was never signed by Anaheim and becomes a free agent this July 1st. He played his college hockey at Wisconsin (playing one year with Brendan Smith) and plain out dominated, finishing second on the team in points with 44 in 37 games. As a rookie, all teams can only offer him the same amount, but what he’s looking for is playing time. And suprisingly, Detroit is going to offer him that:
Opportunity, not money, will be the deciding factor in securing Schultz. The Red Wings are prepared to guarantee him a roster spot at the start of the season, something every team that pursues him will need to do.
Sounds very un-Red Wing like, but this is for good reason. Hit the jump for more analysis on how he fits with Detroit, and video.
Here’s what people smarter than I are saying:
The word that’s often used when describing Schultz is “poise.” He’s the type of defenseman that can control the pace of the game and is cool under pressure. His skating is excellent; he has a great shot; and he’s no liability in his own end.
If Schultz does play in Detroit this year, it’d be a crowded blueline, but I think that’s a good thing. Take a look:
FA Signing (Please let it be Suter) / White
Kronwall / Smith
Big Rig / Quincey
Schultz / Kindl
That leaves us with 8 defensemen. Two of which (Smith/Schultz) have potential (maybe Kindl too) to be stars. It’d give the Wings a chance to possibily trade Quincey as well, because while some figure he’s valuable, I don’t think he’s a fit on this team. The one area we’d be lacking is in size.
Still with skills like this, that’s not a problem.
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