Realistic Rental 2016 Style: Nick Schultz

(Photo credit: Amy Irvin, 38 Photography)

(Photo credit: Amy Irvin, 38 Photography)

Recently, we analyzed the play of 14-15 Nick Schultz vs 15-16 Nick Schultz and determined, his perceived decline in play came from an increased role rather than a change in talent. The good news is that since Schultz is reasonably effective as a third pair defender and penalty killer, there’s a decent chance a team with a weak penalty kill gearing up for a playoff run would consider trading for him.

With the fact that Schultz’s contract is a cap crippler, Ron Hextall could probably deal him for yet another third round pick. As of today, the Vancouver Canucks sit two points behind Arizona for the third playoff spot in the Pacific Division, while Arizona has a game at hand. The Vancouver penalty kill unit is 20th in the league.

Of course, the Canucks are up against the salary cap even worse than the Flyers right now. Luckily, this plays right into the Flyers hand.

The Flyers could send Schultz to Vancouver for Brandon Prust which would save the Canucks 250K against the cap right off the bat. For the Flyers, they would also receive a player who’s an upgrade over Ryan White on an expiring contract.

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

This deal is mutually beneficial, the Canucks get help for their penalty kill and they open up a spot to recall the buried Chris Higgins. Higgins is a shot generator who would also help the Canucks NHL ranked 23rd Goals per game ratio.

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

Basically, the Canucks can move out one player to fill two needs, one scoring need via an internal callup and one penalty kill need via an external replacement. The salaries work out too.

On the Flyers side, they upgrade Ryan White, which would allow Hakstol to keep the VandeVelde-Bellemare unit together at 5v5 without Ryan White dragging them down. White can be buried in the AHL for cap space too.

And, Nick Schultz being moved will free up the bury penalty of Andrew MacDonald, who is basically the exact same player.

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

So, the Flyers would also upgrade a forward line via an external option all while keeping the defense status quo with MacDonald replacing Nick Schultz.

Getting MacDonald back into the NHL lineup is a requirement if the Flyers have any hope of trading Andrew MacDonald. Moving him in any deal, even with retained salary will require MacDonald to appear in some NHL games this season. And with sheltered minutes, behind the Del Zotto-Gudas and Medvedev-Ghost pairs, Mark Streit could probably make MacDonald semi-passable. Everything that helps the Flyers retain less than 50% of MacDonald’s salary this off season is needed.

In the end, it’s a deal that works out for both teams regardless of the playoff results.

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