Capitals strengthen right side of the blue line with Justin Schutlz


The Capitals signed defenseman Justin Schultz to a two-year deal $8 million contract, thus addressing one of the team's biggest needs in free agency.

Schultz, 30, is a right defenseman which was a glaring area of need for Washington through the entire 2019-20 season. Nick Jensen played well in the postseason and will likely enter the season on the second defensive pair with Schultz on the third, but Schultz is a player the team can feel comfortable in moving up to the second pair when needed.

With the departure of Radko Gudas, another right defenseman, the team needed to make an addition and Washington took one of the better available options on the market in Schultz.

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The move comes with a steep price tag, however, as Schultz will carry a $4 million cap hit. The move will put the Caps very close to the cap and the team still needs to re-sign Jonas Siegenthaler and add another depth forward to the roster. This move may mean the team intends to move salary or Washington will simply have to walk the salary cap tight rope throughout next season.

Schultz was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and played the next four seasons there. In 2019-20, he scored three goals and 12 points in 46 games with Pittsburgh.