A player who was once a stop-gap measure for a banged-up defense now looks to be a permanent member of the Flyers blue line.
On Wednesday afternoon, the club announced it had agreed on a multi-year contract extension with blueliner Nick Schultz. Several reports indicate the deal is $4.5 million for two years.
That's an improvement over the bombastic multi-year deal Paul Holmgren bestowed on Andrew MacDonald last season, but still troubling to see new GM Ron Hextall still clinging to a bit of the old ways as if Schultz will be some kind of over-30 reclamation project.
At that price, unless another move is made, it appears to lock out even a cheaper replacement like Erik Gustafsson, whose rights are still held by the Flyers despite his playing in the KHL this season. It also may not bode well for the likes of Michael Del Zotto, who has performed admirably in his limited usage on a one-year deal signed in the wake of the Kimmo Timonen news.
If this is a consistent line of thinking, then we have to wonder what's the incentive for Hextall to be rid of Braydon Coburn and/or Nick Grossmann next year.
Schultz, who was signed as a free agent back in July at the outset of the free agency period after spending last season struggling between Edmonton and Columbus, has totaled 13 points (2G, 11A) in 55 games, along with a plus-6 rating.
The 32-year-old Saskatchewan native is about to conclude his 13th NHL season and is still logging respectable ice time, slotted in at just over 19 minutes per contest despite being a second/third-pairing defenseman.