Buckle your seat belts folks because this could get interesting. Justin Schultz, the much talked about defenseman out of Wisconsin, has been Anaheim Ducks property for the limit. He is now due to become a free agent with the rest of the league in July. That is, of course, if he doesn’t sign a contract with the Ducks. Honestly, it doesn’t look like he’s coming guys.
I’ve talked about him a lot since I’ve joined Ducks Daily Blog and for good reason. He is extremely talented and if he does become a free agent, some experts say that he could be about the third best free agent on the market this summer. This is all possible because he has already filed his paperwork to withdraw from the NCAA and his Wisconsin Badgers for the NHL. And at this point, basically everyone is ruling the Ducks out as Schultz’s summer destination.
So, you start looking for a reason on why he wouldn’t sign with the Ducks, the team who drafted him and stood by him as he chose to attend the University of Wisconsin. The first thing that comes to my mind is that the Ducks had also drafted and TRADED AWAY Schultz’s defensive partner at Wisconsin, defenseman Jake Gardiner, to the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s very possible that Schultz is extremely loyal to his former partner and would like to play with him, after all Toronto is very common among rumors on where he will sign. Another possible reason is he just flat out doesn’t want to play with this franchise. I don’t know but anything’s possible. Maybe Schultz was under the impression that he would get to play with Gardiner in Anaheim and when he was traded to Toronto, he lost his faith in this organization. Only he knows.
Okay, so Schultz is leaving basically. Case closed. As the famous/infamous Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend!” Yeah, he’s probably leaving. However, there are rumors that the Anaheim Ducks might file a tampering charge against a “team that has negotiated with Schultz” before they were legally allowed. This was reported by a sports writer in Minnesota who believes that Schultz has already picked the team he wants to sign with and that this happened while no other team was allowed to negotiate with him. You can assume what ever you want. You can draw lines connecting Schultz with Jake Gardiner, GM Brian Burke, who drafted him in Anaheim and now works with Toronto, and the Maple Leafs. However, we won’t find out anything for sure until June 22nd, when Anaheim’s hold over him ends.
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