It’s time to trade Nick Schultz, and we’ll soon find out whether or not Ron Hextall has a Holiday Miracle in him. Last year, Hextall was unable unload Luke Schenn and Vinny Lecavalier on the LA Kings for Jordan Weal and a third round pick.
This year, Nick Schultz is in the same boat. With eight healthy defenders on the roster right now, Schultz has only been able to play nine games so far this season. He’s on par with Andrew MacDonald in terms of talent.
Via Own the Puck
While Schultz may be slightly better than MacDonald from a possession standpoint, getting Andrew MacDonald to 40 games played this season, to allow Brandon Manning to be protected if needed in the 2017 expansion draft, is a priority. Nick Schultz will not be a part of this team next season, especially since Sam Morin and Travis Sanheim are coming up through the system.
When it comes to moving Nick Schultz, the Flyers need to sell another team on the two things he might actually do well: be a leader in the dressing room and killing penalties.
There are two teams who might be interested. The Florida Panthers could be desperate to make a move for the sake of making a move after changing their coach. The Winnipeg Jets who are a team that has an older core of players like Blake Wheeler, Dustin Byfuglien and Toby Enstrom, but also young talent like Patrick Laine, Nic Petan and Mark Scheifele. If they want a rental run for this year, they could turn to Schultz as the left handed defender they’re missing.
Going after true targets for Schultz is difficult, as his skill set is not in high demand and his liabilities likely outweigh his strengths. But the return isn’t all that hard to gauge, to get rid of the contract, the Flyers need only ask for a 7th round pick. If they’re willing to eat salary, they can try to move up to the fourth round. At the end of the day, moving Schultz out does two positive things: it opens up room for a callup for Morin or Sanheim and it opens up more room for a trade deadline rental on the buyer side for the Flyers. If the Flyers are lucky, they can pair an expendable piece like VandeVelde or Scott Laughton and try to turn the return into something decent. It’s a highly unlikely venture though, and if any team says yes, Ron Hextall should trade Nick Schultz before they change their mind.
It was roughly one year ago that Ron Hextall made Lecavalier disappear. Can he trade Nick Schultz and repeat the same magic?