Ah, Sarge. A moment of glory. (WaPo)
As the Washington Capitals’ 2013 season has come to a close, and many words have been written about the team as a whole, it’s now time to look at this club at an individual level. As such, we will be taking a look at each player who played a significant role on the club this season and what they could bring in the future. Next up is defenseman Jeff Schultz.
Season Summary: Schultz played pretty regularly up until the end of March, seeing playing time despite a poor season due to injuries. Overall, Sarge played in 26 games with three assists and a minus-6 rating while posting a corsi rating of -7.84 and a corsi rel of -8.2. Schultz never seemed to find his groove as a stable, complementary defenseman this year, which he has proven that he can do in the past, and it was so bad towards the end of the year that he was sent to the press box at the end of March and did not return. It was a disappointing year for the double nickel in just about every facet. Grade: C-
Role Play: As stated above, Schultz had previously made his case as a relatively reliable, solid defensive defenseman who kept the puck out of his own net despite constant cries that he didn’t “hit people enough” by the fanbase. But those wheels totally fell off the bus this year, as no matter who Oates put him with, he was decidedly poor according to both the eye test and metric test. Schultz failed to even come close to justifying his salary and took a big step backwards by almost all accounts. Grade: C-
Playoffs: Schultz did not appear in a postseason game. Grade: N/A
Future Potential: Schultz is almost certain to have played his last game in a Capitals uniform, as he has fallen out of favor hard with Oates and there is no need for him on the roster with the growth of Steven Oleksy as well as the presence of many young defensemen in Washington’s system. His salary cap hit would free up room necessary for people who are actually in Oates’ plan, so it seems as though this is an obvious choice. Expect George McPhee to try and trade him, and if no partner is available, hand him an amnesty buyout. Grade: C-
Harry Hawkings is a college student credentialed to cover the Capitals for RtR. Follow him on Twitter here for all your news needs this season.