Defenseman Jeff Schultz is tired of watching his role in Washington decline. He believes another team might use him more and he wants the Capitals to send him to such a home.
“My agent and I thought there has got to be somewhere else where a team needs a player like myself and I can be utilized a lot more than I was here,” Schultz told the Washington Post. “It was like I was a young first year player again with them.
“They didn’t have that trust in me that they could put me out there in tough situations or even in the third period.”
Schultz went from averaging 19:47 minutes in 2010-11 to 15:18 in 2011-12 and just 14:15 this season. He wasn’t used at all in the 2013 playoffs.
As previously reported, this trade request was apparently first made in mid-March. He obviously wasn’t dealt before the trade deadline, but agent Jarrett Bousquet remains confident that he can be moved over the summer.
“Playing in the National Hockey League now supersedes playing for the Washington Capitals,” Bousquet said. “I think he can still play in the National Hockey League. He’s played almost 400 games, almost 30 playoff games if he’s playing 20-22 minutes a night like he was when they signed him he’s not a huge cap hit.”
He will come with a $2,750,000 cap hit next season and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2014.
The Capitals don’t have much cap space, so they probably want to trade him and might even resort to buying out his contract if they can’t. Washington has both of its compliance buyouts available and using one would get his cap hit off the books.
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Kyle Turris was far from an accomplished NHLer when he requested a trade out of the Coyotes organization. In fact, when he was dealt to the Senators in 2011, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft had just 46 points in 137 NHL games.
Since then, Turris has emerged as Ottawa’s top center, with the promise of a big payday in the summer of 2018 when his current $17.5 million deal expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
It’s for that very reason that he can understand Jonathan Drouin‘s position with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.”
Though Turris, now 26, took a “lot of heat from the media…and people within the organization” and recalls the time after his trade request was made public as a “tough, tough go,” he believes the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.
As we’ve written in the past, you don’t have to agree with how Drouin is handling things — maybe it ends up hurting him; he still has a lot to prove — but there have been young players who have chosen similar paths, and it’s worked out well for them.
Drouin, by the way, has 40 points in 89 NHL games.