The Washington Capitals needed to add some defense after Michal Kempny suffered a torn Achilles in offseason training and they’ll pick up a former rival. Justin Schultz has agreed to a two-year contract with the Capitals that will carry a $4MM cap hit.
Schultz, 30, was a 51-point defenseman just a few years ago but has seen his offensive production almost completely dry up. When you’re supposed to be a play-driving defenseman, 12 points in 46 games just isn’t cutting it. Over the last three seasons, Schultz has played in just 138 games and has just 54 points, not enough when you also don’t provide much polish at the defensive end.
Perhaps it’s just the injuries that have sapped his production, but given how poor his possession statistics have also been it’s hard to know exactly what the Capitals are getting. For $4MM per season on a Stanley Cup contender, that’s a big risk to take.
Schultz fits in just ahead of the re-signed Brenden Dillon on the salary chart and reduces the Capitals remaining space to almost zero. Moving Kempny onto long-term injured reserve will give them a little more wiggle room, but without moving money out there isn’t a lot more the Capitals can do.