Tag: Jeff Schultz

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What lies ahead for new Caps GM MacLellan?


On Monday, the Washington Capitals promoted Brian MacLellan to general manager, inheriting the role of the man he previously assisted — George McPhee, who was dismissed last month after 17 seasons on the job.

Needless to say, MacLellan has a big job in front of him.

The Capitals are coming off a year in which they missed the playoffs for the first time in six seasons and an offseason in which McPhee and head coach Adam Oates were swiftly shown the door. Former Nashville bench boss Barry Trotz will replace Oates behind the bench — a hire that’s chock full of storylines itself — but for the immediate future, all eyes will be on MacLellan.

On the free agent front, two veteran presences are twisting in the wind: UFA forwards Mikhail Grabovski and Dustin Penner, representing two of McPhee’s last acquisitions on the job. Grabovski sort of fell into Washington’s lap, inking with the club for a reasonable one-year, $3 million deal after getting bought out by Toronto last summer; he had a solid campaign, scoring 35 points in 58 games, but missed a good chunk of the season nursing an ankle injury that limited him down the stretch.

Penner also fell into Washington’s lap — Anaheim appeared to be clearing space for a bigger move that never came to fruition, and moved Penner for a fourth-round pick — but failed to find similar success. The big winger had just three points in 18 games in his first-ever stint in the Eastern Conference. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if Penner was allowed to test free agency again.

In goal, MacLellan has more questions than answers as the only two netminders with NHL pedigree are Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer. Holtby struggled to hold onto the No. 1 gig last season and while Grubauer has impressed in stints, his resume still only consists of 19 big-league contests. One would think Washington’s in the market for a veteran presence to at least compete for the starting gig, and there are those types available (Ryan Miller and Jonas Hiller, most notably.)

At the draft, Washington will select 13th overall, marking just the second time in six years the Caps have picked inside the top-15. It’ll be interesting to see what MacLellan does here — a former pro scout that used to work in the Caps’ player personnel department, he could be keen to select a player at 13…but it’s also possible he’ll look to move the pick in the hopes of acquiring a roster player for a team that, despite last year’s poor performance, is built to win now.

Finally, there’s what MacLellan plans to do with that roster, one he helped construct as McPhee’s right-hand man. Jettisoning players by conventional methods may be tough, as seven core players carry either full or partial no-movement clauses, so it’ll be interesting to see if he uses the club’s remaining compliance buyout (McPhee used one on defenseman Jeff Schultz last year.) Center Brooks Laich, who’s been chronically injured over the last two years, turns 31 in June and still has three years left on his deal at $4.5 million per and is the most likely candidate.

So yes, there’s plenty to be done in Washington. Promises to be a busy summer for the new guy in charge.

Willie Mitchell returns in Game 1 for L.A.

Willie Mitchell

The Los Angeles Kings got a bit of help for Game 1 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Defenseman Willie Mitchell took warm-ups and dressed for the first time since Game 6 of the first round against the San Jose Sharks. Mitchell missed time with a muscle injury and is paired up with Alec Martinez on the blue line.

With Mitchell back in, Matt Greene was scratched to make room for him.

Mitchell had an assist and four penalty minutes in the six games he played against the Sharks. He missed all of last season’s series against Chicago. With Robyn Regehr still out with an injury, Mitchell brings his brand of tough, defensive play back into the lineup.

It is interesting to note that Greene got the call to sit down and recent AHL-call-up and NHL veteran Jeff Schultz stayed in.

Leafs’ Liles, Kings’ Schultz clear waivers, head to AHL


In different ways, Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman John-Michael Liles and Los Angeles Kings blueliner Jeff Schultz are victims of the numbers game. They’re both headed to their teams’ respective AHL affiliates after clearing waivers on Monday.

Liles, 32, finds himself in this predicament in a large part because of Toronto’s tight salary cap crunch. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports that he’s headed to the Toronto Marlies, accompanying moves that include Morgan Rielly making the team and Frazer McLaren hitting the LTIR.

Schultz, 27, simply wasn’t good enough to make the cut. That being said, it’s probably more difficult to make the Kings’ defensive mix than most NHL teams’ groups.

Either way, two guys who could probably play at the game’s highest level to at least some extent are instead in the AHL. Sheldon Souray must be having sympathy pains.

Kings send playoff breakout star Toffoli to AHL

Tyler Toffoli

Last season saw Kings rookie Tyler Toffoli make a strong impression both late in the year and in the playoffs. Now he’s going to start this season in the AHL.

Los Angeles announced they’re sending Toffoli, along with fellow forwards Linden Vey and Tanner Pearson, to AHL Manchester to get their roster down to 24 men. The team placed defenseman Jeff Schultz on waivers earlier in the day.

Toffoli was a late-season call-up for the Kings last year and he provided an offensive spark with five points in 10 games. In the postseason he stepped up even more with two goals and four assists in 12 games.

This time around, it appears coach Darryl Sutter is going with a heavier, more physical lineup with Daniel Carcillo,  Dwight King, and Jordan Nolan sticking around. Replacing Dustin Penner with guys who hit and agitate more makes for a curious decision.

Leafs’ Liles headlines list of players on waivers

John-Michael Liles

Teams are in need of being down to their 23-man roster by tomorrow and that means today is loaded with players on waivers. 37 players to be exact.

Highlighting the list is Toronto defenseman John-Michael Liles. The Maple Leafs are in a cap crunch and would also like to get more of a look at rookie Morgan Rielly. His $3.875 million cap hit on a deal which he’s got three years left on made him a prime candidate to be waived. Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports says the Leafs have spent the past few days trying to trade him but to no avail.

Toronto also put blue liners Korbinian Holzer and T.J. Brennan on waivers as well as forwards Trevor Smith and Troy Bodie and goalie Drew McIntyre.

Other notable players on waivers include:

Cory Emmerton – Detroit: The Wings have 17 forwards in camp and are a bit over the salary cap. Waiving Emmerton only addresses the roster total as his cap hit is a paltry $533,000.

Jeff Schultz – Los Angeles: He lost out in his camp battle with Keaton Ellerby. He was bought out by the Washington Capitals this summer.

Alexander Sulzer – Buffalo: Rookie Rasmus Ristolainen making the Sabres roster squeezed him out of a job with the big club.

Adam Pardy – Winnipeg: He too may be here thanks to losing out in camp to a rookie. In this case it’s 2012 first-round pick Jacob Trouba.

If your team feels the need for a tough guy, there’s a few to choose from. New Jersey’s Cam Janssen, Colorado’s Guillaume Desbiens, Washington’s Joel Rechlicz, Anaheim’s Nolan Yonkman, and New York Islanders defenseman Joe Finley are all there for the picking.