Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Justin Schultz Decision, Take 2

So watching the Oilers-Blackhawks game last night ever so briefly and watching Justin Schultz, it struck me again how he would have fit right in with the Canucks, and how he may be rethinking his decision to go to Edmonton.  The reports are that Vancouver was a 'finalist', but he chose to go with the young team on the cusp of greatness, and Edmonton (?) instead.

He wasn't alone in thinking all the young talent would magically coalesce, finally, and they would sweep into the playoffs like the Oilers of old.  Some reputable journalists predicted they would do just so.  Instead, he's on a team with talent and potential, but big problems and big holes in its roster, and a management team in upheaval, and major roster changes on the way.

On the Canucks, he would have slid in to a veteran lineup that has been through the playoff wars and knows about winning.  He would have had veteran defencemen ahead of him like Alex Edler, Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa to do the heavy lifting at the blue line, and been able to take more sheltered minutes as he adjusted to the NHL game.

As a right-handed shot and a setup man on the powerplay, he would have been a good complementary piece to either Jason Garrison or Alex Edler as the left-handed bomb from the point.  Especially now with Ryan Kesler back, he would have had the option, when he and the lefty defenceman switched up sides to facilitate the one-timer, to either go to the D-man or straight up to the faceoff dot to the right of the goalie, where Mr. Kesler makes a living on the powerplay.

So it's only one season, decisions like this are made with a long-term view, and things can change quickly, but right now I have to wonder how much better off Mr. Schultz would be living in Vancouver and having a real shot at a deep run in the playoffs.

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