Jeff Schultz is seeking a new home in the NHL. The Washington Examiner reports that the defenseman has requested a trade from the Washington Capitals, according to his agent. The report from the Examiner states that Schultz is frustrated by a lack of playing time over the last couple seasons and by poor communication with Washington's coaching staff.
Jarrett Bousquet, the agent that represents Schultz, elaborated on the defenseman's situation.
"Jeff would love to be there. He loves his teammates and the Capitals have been good to him over the years when they drafted him. It's just that now it's to the point where playing in the National Hockey League takes precedence over not playing for [the Caps]. We feel for Jeff, if he's not going to be utilized in Washington, that there are other teams that can utilize his talents elsewhere."
This report isn't very surprising due to the blueliner's shrinking playing time. In fact, Schultz requested a trade prior to the 2013 trade deadline but a deal never developed. The season ended with Schultz appearing in just 26 games for the Capitals. In 2011-12, he skated in 54 games.
Now Schultz wants a fresh start. It's remarkable how things have changed since his 2009-10 campaign where he tallied 23 points and finished the year with the NHL's best plus/minus of +50. Since then his career has sputtered, all the way to the point where he is now requesting a trade.
At age 27, Schultz is a defenseman a lot of teams should be interested in. He's owed $3 million in 2013-14 which detracts from his value, but it's fair to assume at least a few teams out there are willing to take a chance on Schultz in the hopes regular playing time will get his career back on track.