Capitals breakdown: Jeff Schultz

Capitals breakdown: Jeff Schultz
June 19, 2013, 8:30 am
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Washington Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz (55)

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2012-13 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every day in alphabetical order. Today: Jeff Schultz

Jeff Schultz

Position: Left Defense

Shoots: Left

Age: 27

Ht/Wt: 6-6, 228

Games: 26

Goals: 0

Assists: 3

Points: 3

Penalty Minutes: 12

Plus-Minus: Minus-6

Average Ice Time: 14:15

Contract Status: 1 year remaining on 4-year, $11 million contract [$2.75 million cap hit in 2013-14]

Strengths: At 6-6, 228, Schultz is the tallest and heaviest defenseman in the Caps’ organization. He’s also been durable throughout his career and dutifully works with assistant coaches after every practice and morning skate, despite being a healthy scratch for 22 of the Caps’ 48 games, including their final 13 games of the regular season and all seven playoff games.

Weaknesses: Since leading the NHL with a plus-50 rating and setting career highs in assists [20] and points [23] in 2009-10, Schultz has failed to live up to the sizable contract he signed three summers ago. He’s been a minus-2 since then and has frustrated coaches with his lack of aggressiveness around the net and in the corners. As a result, Schultz has fallen down the Caps’ defensive depth chart and has requested a trade.

Memorable Moment: On Feb. 25 in New Jersey, Schultz picked up an assist and was a plus-1 while logging close to 16 minutes in a 5-1 win against the Devils. It will likely be remembered as his last point in a Capitals career that nosedived under coaches Dale Hunter and Adam Oates.

2013-14 Expectations: Last March, prior to the NHL trade deadline, Schultz asked the Caps to trade him, but George McPhee found no takers, probably because of Schultz’ cap hit. Those attempts will intensify at the June 30 draft, where the Caps likely will try to deal Schultz for a draft pick. If those attempts are unsuccessful look for the Caps to use one of their two amnesty buyouts on Schultz, paying him two-thirds of his $2.75 million salary to remove him from under the salary cap. It will be interesting to see if Schultz can resurrect his career in another NHL city.