The Washington Capitals today signed 24-year-old defenseman Jeff Schultz to a four-year, $11 million deal to avoid arbitration.
Schultz was a plus-50 last season playing on a great offensive team alongside Mike Green. Throw that number out and look at his stats: nine goals, 44 assists and 53 points. Over those seasons he missed nine regular-season games.
If you figure in his injury-shortened season last year, and the fact that he has never played with a partner as talented as Green, Stuart obviously comes up short of Schultz’s production. But there’s no telling how he might compare in the future, if given the chance to play top-four minutes. Although the Bruins don’t have enough salary-cap space to make an offer in Schultz’s realm, Stuart looks more likely to make a salary in the range I predicted — $2 to 2.5 million — earlier this week.