Late last week, The Washington Examiner’s Brian McNally reported that veteran Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz wants out of DC. “My agent and I thought there has got to be somewhere else where a team needs a player like myself and I can be utilized a lot more than I was here,” Schultz told Katie Carrera on Thursday afternoon. “It was like I was a young first year player again with them. They didn’t have that trust in me that they could put me out there in tough situations or even in the third period.”
Schultz, whose role with the team was reduced after Bruce Boudreau was fired, has one year remaining on his four-year, $11 million contract, which carries a $2.75 million salary cap hit next season. Over the weekend, George McPhee revealed to CSN Washington that he’d try to accommodate him. “As we’ve told every player, if you ever want to be traded or you’re not happy then let us know and we’ll trade you. So we started working on it and we’ll see what develops.”
During his time in Washington, Sarge was a polarizing figure among fans, not unlike departed bro Alex Semin. His style of hockey could never be described as tough (maybe gangly is the best word for it). Hockey purists took offense at that. At six-foot, six-inches and 230 pounds, Schultz could have been a physical player on the order of a Diet Chara, but instead Schultz’s long reach was his trademark.
That’s not to say Schultz hasn’t had success with his defensive philosophy. He led the league in (garbage stat) plus-minus in 2009–10 and set a postseason record in 2011 when he went 119 minutes without a goal against.
If he leaves the team this offseason, either by trade or buyout, Jeff Schultz definitely deserves a proper RMNB send-off.
Jeff Schultz’s full-length goal on Ondrej Pavelec might make you more nostalgic for the Southeast Division than Sarge, but it’s still the right way to start it off. Schultz was never, ever, ever known as a goal scorer, but this one was all skill. Kinda makes you wonder what he could do if he took a shot from under 80 feet away.
“That would have been messy” is how Pierre McGuire described it. Zdeno Chara is sometimes known for having the hardest shot in the NHL. Chara looks pretty plucky in this video, meaning he must have just eaten a fresh Englishman. Seriously, the fact that we’re not writing about dead person Jeff Schultz right now is just a testament to the space-age materials used in hockey visors.
Peabody-caliber reporter Jill Sorenson conducted what should have been a routine intermission interview with Schultz, who usually controls the mic with the exquisite flow of a mid-career Adam Yauch. Instead, some punk in the hallway unleashed the effest F-bomb ever to what bombs at midnight.
Matt Bradley really wanted to cut in before this dance got started, but Schultz had to tango with Tim Jackman all alone. And despite having the reach advantage of Groot vs Rocket Raccoon, Schultz seemed to get the worst of this one.
He’s got a reputation for his quiet presence on the Capitals bench (err… press box), but Schultz one time exchanged salty words with Sidney Crosby. That we do not have audio of the back-and-forth is one of the great tragedies of our age. It’s possible Schultz harbors some deep-seated enmity for Crosby. Example: Schultz’s “how’s the wood, Sid” autograph, still a top-tier WTF moment the editorial staff on RMNB.
Does this count? No, this does not count.
Somehow drafted into reading the Declaration of Independence at the Archives back in 2011, Schultz (born in Alberta, Calgary, which is in Canada– we checked!) reportedly struggled with the “long train of abuses and usurpations” line, which you’d think he understand better given either his defensive tendencies or his ludicrously lucrative contract with the Caps.
“People seem to think that the big guy’s supposed to be the big mean guy out there and stuff like that,” Schultz said to sportswriting brahman Dan Steinberg. “That’s not the type of person I am. I just don’t have that mean streak like an Ersk out there, not to go out and fight and stuff like that.”
And yet they call him Mister Nasty. That’s an enigmatic nickname for a supposedly straightforward guy, so maybe we’ve got him all wrong. Like all of us, there are layers upon onion-y layers to Jeff Schultz– and some of those layers are nasty. The nasty Jeff Schultz is a top-shelf defender for the Washington Capitals and a mainstay on the blueline for as long as he wants to be there. On another layer is the dude for whom hits are anathema and skate speed is not actually speedy at all.
Maybe it’s time for another team to peel away at Jeff Schultz. If that’s so, best of luck to him.
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