Justin Schultz

Report: Justin Schultz’s preference is to play in western Canada


The Red Wings are an organization with a great reputation and an obvious need for defense. However, that wasn’t enough to lure top-tier free agent prospect Justin Schultz to Detroit.

“I was told we are not on his list of teams,” Red Wings GM Ken Holland told the Detroit News. “We expressed our interest to his agent (Don Meehan). They went over all the information today (Wednesday).”

Although Schultz can sign with any team, he’s limited to inking a two-year, entry-level contract. That means his decision will ultimately come down to opportunity and personal preference.

As a British Columbia-native, it looks like Schultz simply wants to play close to home. At this point, the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, and Calgary Flames all have an edge for his services.

If his decision comes down to those three teams, he might choose the Oilers because they’ll offer him the best shot of making his NHL debut in October. Schultz will also get to be part of a team that’s making the transition from rebuilding to competing.

At the same time, the Vancouver Canucks are the better team and are closer to home. He might choose them in the hopes of winning the Stanley Cup in the not too distant future with his native province.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.