2010 NHL free agency: Capitals re-sign Jeff Schultz for four years, $11 million

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jeffschultz2.jpgThe Capitals continue to take care of their in-house business today by signing defenseman Jeff Schultz to a long-term contract. Tarik El-Bashir spreads the word from Washington.

The Caps have re-signed restricted free agent Jeff Schultz, I’m told, and thus will avoid salary arbitration.

TSN.ca is reporting the deal is worth $11 million over four years for a $2.75 million per season average.

The team is expected to make a formal announcement this afternoon.

Schultz led the NHL in plus/minus last season with a plus-50 rating. The 24-year-old also racked up three goals and 20 assists in 73 games while skating alongside Mike Green.

In other news, Michael Nylander was placed on waivers at noon.

Ah, the curious case of Jeff Schultz and his incredible plus/minus rating. Playing on the same pairing with Mike Green and also, presumably, getting lots of ice time with the Caps first line of Alex Ovechkin, Nick Backstrom and Mike Knuble can lead to a player being on the ice for a lot of goals scored by his own team. Does this actually make Jeff Schultz a great defenseman worth nearly $3 million a year? That’s debatable.

That price tag certainly isn’t a big deal, however, but the length of the deal is what vexes me. After all, Schultz has been a mostly pedestrian defenseman through his NHL career and playing mostly with that offensive flying circus last year did him wonders in just one statistical column. Fortunately for him it’s the one most people focus on when it comes to defensemen. Schultz’s previous three seasons saw him put up plus/minus ratings of +5, +12 and +13. Getting such a big raise and commitment based on one big season is a big statement from the Caps. Whether it’s one that’s held up as a genius example or a bad example of investing in the future remains to be seen.

Of course: Ryan Suter wins it for Wild vs. ‘Hawks after those wild quotes

NBCSN screen

You know what they say: “What a difference a game makes.”

Even in the 82-game marathon that an NHL regular season is, that can be true.

Ryan Suter admitted he went too far with comments during tough times, yet there he was on Tuesday night, grinning ear-to-ear after scoring the 2-1 goal that ended up being the game-winner.

Heck, people were even joking about things. The healing powers of winning, right?

As of this writing, this win places Minnesota in the last wild card spot, and they’re close to elbowing in on the Chicago Blackhawks (who own a standings point advantage, but have played two more games so far in 2015-16).

Jeremy Roenick labels this 2-1 win as a “team win” for Minnesota, and it showed on that 2-1 goal, as the Wild showed off some picture-perfect passing and a willingness to crash the net for rebounds.

Let’s face it, though; Devan Dubnyk deserves plenty of credit, too.

It won’t be easy in the Central Division, and things may get heated again. Still, this is the sort of win that may just help Minnesota build up some confidence.

Hey look: Flyers reel off three straight wins for first time in 2015-16

Sean Couturier
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When you’re talking about bright sides, most people believe that they boil down to the light at the end of the tunnel for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a little success in the present while waiting for that bright future, though.

The Flyers are providing at least a burst of sunshine lately, as Tuesday’s 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators gives them … (drum roll) their first three-game winning streak of this season.

Joy abounded.

Even in recent darker moments, Philly’s been pretty impressive on offense, so Flyers fans are likely relieved to see a relative offensive outburst.

Sure, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns – Radko Gudas might have gotten himself into some trouble, for instance – yet this is still a nice sign of life for a team expected to finish in the draft lottery.

If that fails … hey, the future may require shades.

This own-goal captures the start of Dougie Hamilton’s Flames career

Dougie Hamilton
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Here’s an understatement: things haven’t gone very well for Dougie Hamilton early in his first season with the Calgary Flames.

(It must feel like the opposite of Tyler Seguin in Dallas for Boston Bruins fans, but feel free to disagree in the comments.)

You could look at Hamilton’s meager offensive stats and break down his disappointing work through a very of “fancy” and traditional metrics …

… Or you could just fire up a projector and show this own-goal on a loop.

Senators lose Michalek, Zibanejad to injuries vs. Flyers

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It remains to be seen if the Ottawa Senators can avoid losing against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, but either way, it’s been a costly night.

The Senators saw two forwards leave the game with injuries, as Milan Michalek and Mika Zibanejad were banged up on Tuesday.

Michalek may have gotten hurt blocking a shot while a Radko Gudas hit on Zibanejad left the Senators forward with an upper-body injury.

Gudas may get a call from the league for his infractions.

Update: Michalek’s issue could be significant.

The Flyers ended up beating the Senators 4-2, so a tough night for Ottawa.