With NHL free agency officially starting on July 1st, teams only have 11 more days to resign their players before they are open to bids from other teams. In the next 11 days, we will look through the unrestricted free agents the Columbus Blue Jackets have this year, and preview what we could expect once free agency starts.
Today we will look at CBJ defenseman Nick Schultz.
2013 Cap Hit: $3,500,000
2013-14 Stats: Schultz spent the majority of the 2013-14 season with the Edmonton Oilers before being traded to Columbus, where he only played nine regular season and two post-season games. Combined, he played a total of 69 regular season games in which he scored no goals and added only five assists, four with Edmonton and one with Columbus. He was -13 in the regular season, and an even 0 with 0 points in the playoffs.
Summary: -13 is not good for a defenseman. Neither is five points in 71 total games. Only playing in 9 games with Columbus shows that Schultz isn’t a necessary player for the Jackets. They traded him for a fifth round draft pick, so he really doesn’t have much value.
Moreover, a $3,500,000 cap hit and $3,600,000 salary is a lot for a player who didn’t score at all this season. To put that into perspective, he makes as much as Mark Letestu, Cam Atkinson and Jared Boll COMBINED. And those three combined had 34 goals and 42 assists for 76 goals this season. All that to say, the money being used to pay Schultz could be better spent elsewhere.Overall, Schultz isn’t the kind of player that fits in on the Jackets, and he certainly wasn’t very productive this season. I don’t see him returning to the Jackets. As previously stated, they got him for a fifth round pick, so they aren’t really losing any value by letting him go. Losing him really would be nothing more than a salary dump for the Jackets, and that’s what I bet they will do.