Capitals sign Justin Schultz to surprising two-year, $8M deal

After adding a former rival for Cheap in Henrik Lundqvist, the Capitals continued that trend in a more puzzling way by signing defender Justin Schultz on a $ 8 million two-year deal.
The capitals sign Justin Schultz for a two-year contract worth $ 8 million
So this contract means that 30-year-old Schultz has an AAV of $ 4 million through 2021-22. It doesn't sound like there is a no-trade or no-movement clause for Schultz if you are wondering about the implications of the draft extension.
A bigger trend that is emerging is that capitals don't exactly have the latest defenses. Schultz, John Carlson, Michal Kempny and Nick Jensen are all 30. The recently expanded Brenden Dillon is 29 years old, as is Dmitry Orlov.
The blueliner went back to Schultz, dealing with worrying injury issues and seeing his game really deteriorate over the past few seasons. After Schultz found himself a good fit in a sheltered situation that really benefited his game, Schultz slipped. Many of its underlying numbers are very disturbing.
Also worrying: maybe its offensive impact isn't as good as we might think?
That said, maybe the capitals have a certain role in mind. You'd think that working on the power play might be one of Schultz's selling points, but Carlson has that covered.
Maybe it's all about the transition game? Maybe the new head coach Peter Laviolette is a big fan?
Maybe it can work. Personally, I hadn't expected much from Schultz when the ducks traded him for the penguins, and he was a pleasant surprise for Pittsburgh.
On my way to the 2020 NHL Free Agency, I expected that Schultz would get something like a (but superior) double-edged sword defender Kevin Shattenkirk, who was welcomed in the 2019 off-season. Instead, capitals signed Schultz for a deal not far removed from what Shattenkirk (allegedly) got this off-season.
We'll see, but again I find it a little confusing that the capital cities gave it a pretty robust deal with a fixed term.
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James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk for NBC Sports. Email him at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.
Capitals signs Justin Schultz on a surprising $ 8 million two-year deal originally posted on

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