Justin Schultz: Sensational and Sensationalized

Thomas Drance
November 12 2012 11:59AM

Rogers Sportsnet does a lot of things very well, employing Michael Grange or hosting the Marek Versus Wyshynski podcast for example. Their digital content arm however, lags somewhat behind the offerings hockey fans get from the Score, Yahoo and NBC (among others). 

Today, they're jumping off of Jason Botchford's take on Canucks fans booing Justin Schultz from this past weekend, and plugging the post as Justin Schultz saying that "picking the Oilers over the Canucks was the best decision of his career." Sounds racy, huh? Except that the actual quote itself is anything but.

Click past the jump for more.

Here's the quote Sportsnet is sensationalizing today:

"It was a little tough but I always figured in the back of my mind Edmonton was the right place for me to be in...

"I saw a great opportunity there and I wasn't worried about what anyone was going to think. I think I made the best decision for my career. The young talent they have here is going to be an exciting couple of years coming up if the NHL starts.

"The end goal is a Stanley Cup, hopefully a couple of them. I think we have the talent here to do it. I'm excited to start playing with them up in the NHL."

Justin Schultz may have made "the best decision of his career" by choosing to draw Paul Coffey comparisons in Edmonton, rather than provide an aging Vancouver club with an injection of youth and talent along the blueline. It's too early to tell, but his reasoning is certainly sound.

My point here is that there's not even a smattering of the, "man I'm glad I didn't decide to go to Vancouver" sentiment in his quotes. Schultz seems to be very happy to be part of the Oilers organization, he's optimistic about the future and he's had tremendous success in the the AHL in the early going. But there's no Canucks directed pettiness there, that's only in the Sportsnet headline (and also emanating from the Canucks fans who booed Schultz in Abbotsford this past weekend).

I know how it is, we've stooped pretty low to come up with content during the lockout as well. But the headline on the Sportsnet Schultz story has next to nothing in common with the quotes Schultz gave Botchford this past weekend in Abbotsford.

Trading off of the hopes of Oilers fans, and their resentment towards the Canucks is all well and good - but let's just be clear that that's really all this is.

As for Justin Schultz,  he definitely represents a "whiff" for the Canucks' management team; and it's fair to describe the fact that the AHL's highest scoring defenseman spurned them this summer and isn't wearing Chicago Wolves crimson this fall as unfortunate. But we'd do well to remember that for all of Edmonton's elite young talent - and Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are all currently playing for the Oklahoma Barons at the moment - their AHL affiliate has fewer points at this early point in the AHL season than the Wolves do.

Should we hold off on anointing the Oilers' young core as future world beaters, at least until they prove that they can dominate and rack up wins at the AHL level? Apparently not.

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#1 khlhfs
November 12 2012, 01:12PM
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Nice to see a Canucks blogger stand up for Schultz. I'm not sure what this kid's issue was for not signing with the Ducks, nor do I commend his decision not to. However, since opting to be a FA, Schultz has handled himself with class and dignity.

As for the Canucks fans that booed him, can someone help me to understand this? Why does he deserve to be booed by the fans of a franchise that he never played for nor was drafted by? Is there a rule somewhere that all BC born players are to sign with the Canucks? Ducks fans, I think, have every right. Canucks fans..........not so much.

On a side note, I appreciate your last comment, TD, about the hype surrounding the Oilers. For a team that has finished last or 2nd last there is a lot of hype. Although when you consider that 3 of the last 4 teams to win the cup have completely rebuilt there rosters through the draft the same way Edmonton has maybe SOME of that is warranted. That said there are still an awful lot of holes in that lineup and those young players they've drafted still need to develop properly.

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#2 Nat
November 12 2012, 02:24PM
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"Why does he deserve to be booed by the fans of a franchise that he never played for nor was drafted by?"

I think it's simply bitterness/jealousy. He turned us down in favour of someone else. Mix in a fan base that has gone a bit batty after 40+ years w/o a Cup. and there you have it.

We are a notoriously sensitive fan base. Passionate too, which I love, but we sure do take things personally a lot of the time.

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#3 Schultzy
November 12 2012, 08:44PM
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Def an interesting choice on Schultz behalf.

The interesting thing about him and EDM came after something I read on the HFboards. Back in Feb/March a poster posted that Tambellini had been scouting and talking to Schultz since x-mas of 2011 (when he was still Ducks prospect). The poster had got the approval from HF mederators cause of his history of insider info and apparent legitimacy of source. This poster said the Oilers knew welllllll before March that he was coming to their team.

Low and behold, there he is.... in EDM.

There's no guarantee EDM has long term success in the NHL. The salary cap has leveled the playing field, almost every team is good. EDM has been at the bottom of the league for almost 4 yrs, and yet somehow they're going to be succesful long term? Cause they're deep down the middle? Have great goaltending? Strong back end? They have 1 good offensive centre, 2 great wingers and a great prospect in Nail. Good luck with all that success Schultz.

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#4 Wanyes bastard child
November 12 2012, 08:58PM
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On an unrelated note, OILERZ RULE CANUCKZ DROOLZ!

That is all...

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#5 khlhfs
November 12 2012, 10:06PM
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@ Schultzy

"Good luck with all that success Schultz."

I think it's funny that so many people believe that Justin Schultz chose the Oilers over the Canucks because he's more likely to win a cup there. It seems more reasonable that he chose a team where he was likely to get playing time and a chance to put up big numbers in order to set himself up so that his next contract is a lucrative one. NHL veterans that have already made their millions choose teams that have a shot at the cup, 22 year olds who spent their last 4 years eating kraft dinner for most of their meals look for the best place to make money.

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#6 Cam Charron
November 13 2012, 03:40AM
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They weren't booing Schultz because they're huge Heat fans who take on the same rivalries as the parent club?

Could have fooled me...

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#7 non descript
November 13 2012, 08:45AM
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@ drance

why on earth would oiler fans resent the canucks?

other than the odd bit of regular season success over the years, the canucks are perennial losers.

let's all say this together now

"presidents trophies mean nothing"

and i dont read any bitterness between the lines at all.....

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