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INBOX: Schultz, Lafleur & the Canadian Dollar

by Bob Stauffer / Edmonton Oilers
Every Monday, Oilers radio colour analyst and Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer answers questions submitted by fans about the team.
  1. With the success of Brent Burns and Dustin Byfuglien playing both forward and defence, Have the Oilers considered trying Justin Schultz as a forward? — Tammy from St. Paul, AB     



First of all who are the most famous set of hockey playing brothers from St. Paul, the Smyls or the Zarownys?

There are a lot of other fans like you who have suggested that maybe the Oilers should try Justin Schultz as a forward.

Thirty years ago, some fans were saying the same thing about Paul Coffey when he struggled at times defensively — and no I am not saying Schultz can become the next Paul Coffey…lol.

Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon, who ironically played forward and defence in his career has said before it takes roughly 300 games in the NHL before you know what you have in a defenceman.

Justin Schultz has played 171 games going into tonight’s game in San Jose.

I think that Oscar Klefbom and Justin Schultz have started to show signs of late of becoming a legit top-four pairing for the future, so I would stay patient with Schultz and keep him on defence.

  • Who was your favourite player growing up? — Wayne from Toronto

    My favourite player growing up was Guy Lafleur.

    Lafleur had the style and panache of a superstar and frankly, in my opinion, he and the Montreal Canadiens helped to restore the importance of skill and talent in hockey in the mid-to-late 1970’s on the heels of an era that saw the Broad Street Bullies win a couple of Stanley Cups in Philadelphia.

    For a six year period Lafleur was the best player in the NHL.

    Lafleur’s shot was off the charts relative to the times. Can you imagine what he could have done with today’s sticks?

    The one aspect of his game that was underrated was his compete.

    His former teammate — current Oilers Coach Keith Acton — has told me that Lafleur knew he had to perform every night and was always ready to go hours before the game, often sitting on the bench, in full equipment, visualizing what he was going to do hours later on the ice.

  • Bob, how do you think the USD/CAD exchange rates will affect the free agent market this year?  — Joe from Hong Kong


    I believe the sliding Canadian dollar will play a factor in free agency this summer as some teams may not have the cap flexibility they originally envisioned when the Canadian dollar was at roughly .90 back in September.

    As a result, prudent teams will wait in free agency for bargains as some of the traditional big spenders might have to look at first shedding salary before engaging in free agency.

    In my opinion a minor market correction due to the drop in the Canadian dollar could create a “buyers” market for teams in free agency

  • Bob Stauffer is Colour Analyst on the Oilers Radio Network and Hosts “Oilers Now” each day Noon to 2:00 PM Monday thru Friday on 630 CHED and you can follow him on Twitter at @Bob_Stauffer
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