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2010 NHL free agency: Capitals re-sign Jeff Schultz for four years, $11 million


The Capitals continue to take care of their in-house business today by signing defenseman Jeff Schultz to a long-term contract. Tarik El-Bashir spreads the word from Washington.

The Caps have re-signed restricted free agent Jeff Schultz, I’m told, and thus will avoid salary arbitration. is reporting the deal is worth $11 million over four years for a $2.75 million per season average.

The team is expected to make a formal announcement this afternoon.

Schultz led the NHL in plus/minus last season with a plus-50 rating. The 24-year-old also racked up three goals and 20 assists in 73 games while skating alongside Mike Green.

In other news, Michael Nylander was placed on waivers at noon.

Ah, the curious case of Jeff Schultz and his incredible plus/minus rating. Playing on the same pairing with Mike Green and also, presumably, getting lots of ice time with the Caps first line of Alex Ovechkin, Nick Backstrom and Mike Knuble can lead to a player being on the ice for a lot of goals scored by his own team. Does this actually make Jeff Schultz a great defenseman worth nearly $3 million a year? That’s debatable.

That price tag certainly isn’t a big deal, however, but the length of the deal is what vexes me. After all, Schultz has been a mostly pedestrian defenseman through his NHL career and playing mostly with that offensive flying circus last year did him wonders in just one statistical column. Fortunately for him it’s the one most people focus on when it comes to defensemen. Schultz’s previous three seasons saw him put up plus/minus ratings of +5, +12 and +13. Getting such a big raise and commitment based on one big season is a big statement from the Caps. Whether it’s one that’s held up as a genius example or a bad example of investing in the future remains to be seen.