Justin Schultz has had a tough season in Edmonton.
He’s had a tough couple seasons.
That’s why the hockey world didn’t bat an eyelash when it was announced that Schultz would be scratched from Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils. It turns out that it may be worth reading a between the lines a bit.
TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports that Schultz’s scratch “might be trade related.”
That wouldn’t be entirely surprising. It’s long been thought that Schultz would wind up needing to move on from Edmonton.
Couple that with Dustin Byfuglien getting a contract extension Monday and the big Dion Phaneuf trade happening Tuesday, and it’s easy to see how things could have accelerated in talks to deal Schultz. Frequently near the trade deadline one trade can tip the trade dominoes. Once a defenseman is removed from the market, it may make other GMs make a quick move on their back up plan.
Adding further fuel to the fire previously was that Edmonton claimed defenseman Adam Clendening off waivers. He’s another right-handed shot and could fill the gap in the lineup if Schultz was moved out. Clendening has played just one game since being claimed, but is slated to be on the roster Tuesday.
Lavoie’s report doesn’t have any details yet, but when a report like this came out about Phaneuf from Bob McKenzie, a trade was only a couple hours away.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.