The Kings re-signed defenseman Jeff Schultz to a new two-year contract Monday, keeping him from hitting the free-agent marketplace Tuesday. Schultz, 28, spent the regular season with the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, N.H., but then played in seven playoff games. He’s likely to get a chance to become Willie Mitchell’s replacement next season. The Kings won’t re-sign Mitchell because of salary-cap concerns. Mitchell will become an unrestricted free agent Tuesday.
Schultz is the seventh defenseman the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings have under contract, joining Drew Doughty, Matt Greene, Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin, Robyn Regehr and Slava Voynov.
As expected, Jeff Schultz replaced injured Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr for Game 2 on Monday night at the Honda Center. Regehr played less than four minutes before he was hurt when the Ducks’ Teemu Selanne checked him into the boards roughly midway through the first period of Game 1 on Saturday.
Schultz, who played 67 games with the Kings’ American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H., during the regular season, last played in the Stanley Cup playoffs while with the Washington Capitals when current Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was there.
“I feel confident in myself being out there,” said Schultz, who was paired with Regehr’s usual partner, Slava Voynov. “We had some tough series back then against Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. I’m sure the rivalry is just as good out here against the Ducks.”
Injured defensemen Willie Mitchell and Robyn Regehr aren’t expected to play for the Kings in Game 2 against the Ducks on Monday. Mitchell could miss his third game after he was hurt in the Kings’ victory in Game 6 of their first-round win over the San Jose Sharks. Regehr was sidelined in the first period of Game 1 Saturday.
Matt Greene replaced Mitchell and Jeff Schultz is set to fill in for Regehr.
Schultz said he spoke briefly Sunday with Kings coach Darryl Sutter about his role.
“He just said, ‘Just go out there and play,’” said Schultz, who spent the regular season with the Kings’ American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H., and was recalled last week after Mitchell was hurt. “It’s hard to replace a guy like Robyn, but I feel like I’m capable of doing a similar job of what he can do.”
Of watching Game 1 of the series from the sideline, he said, “It looks like a lot of fun out there. The Ducks are a team that is heavy on the forecheck and they come hard. It’s just a matter of getting back, moving pucks up and getting out of our zone.”
Sutter declined to speak about the conditions of Mitchell and Regehr. “It does me no good to talk about the injured players, just helps the other team,” Sutter said after the Kings held an optional skate at the El Segundo HQ.
The Kings returned defenseman Jeff Schultz to their American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, N.H., without actually playing him in a game. Schultz has played 41 games with the Monarchs, recording seven points (one goal, six assists), plus 14 penalty minutes. The move comes before the NHL freeze on player movement begins Friday in advance of the Olympic break.
The Kings re-assigned defenseman Jeff Schultz to their American Hockey League affiliate at Manchester, N.H. Schultz did not play with the Kings, who recalled him last week. He has played in 23 games for the Monarchs this season, scoring two points (one goal, one assist). The move clears the way for Matt Greene’s return from injured reserve. Greene has been sidelined by an upper-body injury.
The Kings assigned forward Tanner Pearson to their American Hockey League affiliate at Manchester, N.H., on Tuesday and recalled defenseman Jeff Schultz. Pearson played in six games with the Kings and had one goal after playing 15 games for Manchester and recording 11 points (seven goals, four assists). Schultz had two points, including one goal, in 23 games for Manchester.
The Kings made the last of their cuts Monday, sending defenseman Jeff Schultz to the Manchester (N.H.) Monarchs of the American Hockey League and reaching the NHL’s 23-man roster limit. Schultz was the odd-man out in a defense corps of eight. The Kings’ roster for opening night Thursday against the Minnesota Wild will look like this:
Goaltenders–Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens.
Defensemen–Drew Doughty, Keaton Ellerby, Matt Greene, Alec Martinez, Willie Mitchell, Jake Muzzin, Robyn Regehr, Slava Voynov.
Centers–Anze Kopitar, Colin Fraser, Mike Richards, Jarret Stoll.
Left wingers–Dustin Brown, Daniel Carcillo, Kyle Clifford, Matt Frattin, Dwight King.
Right wingers–Jeff Carter, Trevor Lewis, Jordan Nolan, Justin Williams.
Scrivens, Carcillo and Frattin are new to the roster for 2013-14. Jonathan Bernier, Dustin Penner and Rob Scuderi are playing elsewhere this season.
The Kings signed free-agent defenseman Jeff Schultz to a one-season deal worth $700,000 on Friday, a move made necessary by the departure of defenseman Rob Scuderi. Schultz, 27, fell out of favor with the Washington Capitals last season, playing only 26 games in the lockout-shortened 48-game season. He asked for a trade in April and the Capitals bought him out of his contract and he became an unrestricted free agent. Schultz, a 6-foot-6, 230-pound native of Calgary, had only three assists last season.