After losing Rob Scuderi to Pittsburgh, Los Angeles picked up a cheaper option on defense on Friday, signing former Caps blueliner Jeff Schultz to a one-year, $700,000 deal.
Schultz, 27, was bought out of his four-year, $11 million deal (one year, $3 million in salary remaining) this week after requesting a trade — to which the Caps found no takers.
He averaged career-low 14:15 in ice time during the 2013 season and became increasingly frustrated with his role on the team.
According to the Examiner’s Brian McNally, Schultz first requested a move in mid-March when it became apparent head coach Adam Oates bumped him down the depth chart (this coming from Schultz’s agent, Jarrett Bousquet).
Schultz only appeared in 26 regular season contests this year and didn’t play in the postseason, as Oates opted to go with a six-man defensive unit comprised of Karl Alzner, Mike Green, John Carlson, John Erskine, Jack Hillen and Steven Oleksy.
A towering presence at 6-foot-6, 230 pounds, Schultz was Washington’s first round pick (27th overall) at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and had spent his entire career with the Caps.
His best year came in 2009-10, when he posted a career-high 23 points and led the NHL in plus-minus, with a +50 rating.