Justin Schultz

NHL releases arbitration dates

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Per the players’ union, a quick look at the players (and teams) that have elected arbitration, and what dates they’re scheduled for. Italicized names with asterisks means deals have already been reached, nullifying the need for a hearing.

PLAYER ELECTED FILINGS

Arizona Coyotes
Mikkel Boedker * (signed one-year, $3.75M deal)
Phil Samuelsson – July 21, 2015
Brendan Shinnimin- July 20, 2015

Buffalo Sabres
Phil Varone* (signed one-year, $600,000 deal)

Calgary Flames
Lance Bouma – July 22, 2015
Paul Byron – July 30, 2015
Josh Jooris – July 28, 2015

Colorado Avalanche
Andrew Agozzino – July 20, 2015
Mathew Clark – July 22, 2015

Detroit Red Wings
Gustav Nyquist * (signed four-year, $19M deal)

Minnesota Wild
Erik Haula – July 31, 2015

Nashville Predators
Craig Smith – July 20, 2015
Colin Wilson – July 28, 2015

New Jersey Devils
Eric Gélinas – July 21, 2015
Adam Larsson – July 29, 2015

New York Rangers
Derek Stepan – July 27, 2015

Ottawa Senators
Alex Chiasson – July 23, 2015
Mike Hoffman – July 30, 2015

Philadelphia Flyers
Michael Del Zotto – July 21, 2015

St. Louis Blues
Magnus Paajarvi *  (signed one-year, $700,000 deal)

Toronto Maple Leafs
Taylor Beck – July 24, 2015

Washington Capitals
Braden Holtby – July 23, 2015
Marcus Johansson – July 29, 2015

CLUB ELECTED FILINGS

Edmonton Oilers
Justin Schultz – July 24, 2015

Toronto Maple Leafs
Jonathan Bernier – July 31, 2015

Oilers taking Schultz to arbitration

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RFA defenseman Justin Schultz opted not to file for arbitration on Sunday.

On Monday, the Oilers did.

More, from the Edmonton Journal:

The Oilers elected to take defenceman Justin Schultz to arbitration to reach a contract conclusion. It also triggers an opportunity for the club to buy out a player making more than $2.75 million, which would free up more salary-cap room.

Players and NHL teams can continue to negotiate right up until they reach the arbitrator’s doorstep while the buyout window opens briefly for the club given the uncertainty of what the impact a new deal would have on the cap.

Schultz, 25, is coming off a year in which he scored 31 points in 81 games, but was a liability defensively; in addition to an ugly minus-17 rating, he had poor possession metrics and saw his ice time drop by nearly a minute, compared to the season prior.

The rub with Schultz, of course, is his salary — he earned $3.675 million last season, which is quite a bit given his precarious hold on a spot in Edmonton’s top-six defense. The additions of Andrej Sekera and Griffin Reinhart this offseason could greatly impact Schultz, as could the expected promotion of Darnell Nurse to the NHL level.

While a buyout seems unlikely — TSN’s Ryan Rishaug figures a deal will be reached — it does speak to how far Schultz has fallen. In 2012, the Oilers won the “sweepstakes” to sign Schultz after he opted not to ink with Anaheim, and in his first season in Edmonton he finished seventh in Calder voting, after scoring 27 points in 48 games.

Report: Wild win Reilly sweepstakes

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From the StarTribune’s Mike Russo:

The Mike Reilly sweepstakes are coming to an end this afternoon and unless something backfires, he will be signing with the Wild.

Russo cites sources that say Reilly will sign a two-year, $1.85 million deal (plus bonuses).

The 21-year-old Minnesota native and ex-Gopher was originally drafted 98th overall in 2011 by the Blue Jackets.

However, he opted not to sign with Columbus, thus freeing him to sign elsewhere, a la Justin Schultz in 2012 and, last summer, Kevin Hayes.

Reilly’s dad, Michael, is a limited partner in the Wild.

The Chicago Blackhawks were recently the reported favorites to sign Reilly.

Hobey Baker finalist Hyman won’t sign with Florida

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University of Michigan senior Zach Hyman — taken by Florida in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft — has informed the Panthers he won’t be signing an entry-level deal with the club.

The move will allow Hyman to become an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 16, though the Panthers may trade his rights before then. Regardless, the Sunrise-based team will be losing out on a fairly promising prospect; Hyman led the Wolverines in scoring this year, with 54 points in 37 games, and finished as a Hobey Baker finalist.

This move is not unlike what Kevin Hayes and Justin Schultz did with their drafting teams (Chicago and Anaheim, respectively.) Both waited for the mid-August deadline to pass, then became UFAs and signed elsewhere (with the Rangers and Oilers, respectively.)

It’s a scenario that could play out again this summer with Columubus draftee Mike Reilly, a University of Minnesota junior who’s announced his intention to turn pro next year, but has yet to sign his ELC with the Blue Jackets.

Bridge built: Oilers hand Yakupov two-year, $5M extension

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Nail Yakupov and the Edmonton Oilers are at a crossroads right now, so a “bridge” contract makes some sense. The team announced that they signed the young winger to a two-year deal on Monday.

The contract is worth $5 million overall, which shapes up to be $2.5 million per season. This is an affordable compromise, and maybe the first of at least two with key young players for the Oilers, as Edmonton still must take the next step with polarizing defenseman Justin Schultz.

Yakupov, 21, had just finished the final season of his entry-level contract after being the first pick of the 2012 NHL Draft. It’s been a bumpy development process so far for the Russian forward. Plus/minus is a widely derided stat, yet it might most succinctly tell the story of how tough things have been for him at times: Yakupov is a -72 for his short career, including an all-time low of -35 in 2014-15.

That’s by no means Yakupov’s fault alone, mind you.

The biggest thing is that he’s been streaky (at best) when it comes to scoring, yet the good news is that he’s shown some improvement to close out this past season. He scored 21 points in his last 31 games versus just 12 in the first 50 games.

There’s plenty of time for a breakthrough, and if it happens, the Oilers are getting a nice (short-term) bargain.