On Tuesday of this week the Los Angeles Kings recalled defenseman Jeff Schultz from the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs. Schultz appeared in 23 games for the Monarchs this season, recording two points (1-1=2) and six penalty minutes.
Schultz, who signed with the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on July 5, now joins Ben Scrivens, Matt Frattin and Daniel Carcillo on the big club, with all four being new to the Kings organization this season.
Schultz, who spent the previous seven seasons with the Washington Capitals, is an insurance policy of sorts for the Kings. Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi views Schultz as a low-risk, high-reward proposition. Schultz had a breakout season with a plus-50 on the plus/minus scale for Washington in 2009-10, but has since faded. In the three seasons since his plus-50 campaign, Schultz finished a cumulative minus-2 on the same scale.
“For some reason,” Lombardi says, “his play dropped off. A lot has to do with confidence. The player we saw as a 23-year-old would be a perfect fit for us. Maybe we can get him back to that level.”
When he was at his best, Schultz was playing with offensive-minded Mike Green in Washington.
“Washington paired him with an offensive guy like (Mike) Green and he was very successful,” Lombardi says.
Will Schultz crack the Kings line-up? If so, who would he be paired with? Those questions have yet to be answered.