The Stanley Cup has been presented and so begins the season of signings and rumors of signings.
The Ducks signed Max Friberg to a three year entry level contract last week. The contract is a two way contract, paying $70,000 in the AHL and a graduated salary in the NHL. The 19 year old Swedish winger was selected in the fifth round of last year’s entry draft.
Meanwhile, there are reports out of Finland that Teemu Selanne is going to play one more year. This was reported by TSN.ca, but has not been confirmed by the Ducks organization. Until the Ducks have a contract, anything reported is a rumor, no matter how appealing it may be to Anaheim fans.
What is not appealing to Anaheim fans is news that fan favorite, George Parros, is likely to test free agency. Despite having an offer from GM Bob Murray, Parros will likely be up for grabs on July 1. If the Ducks cannot come to an agreement with defenseman, Sheldon Brookbank, he, too, will be taking a dip in the free agent pool.
While the Ducks might be ok with those guys going to free agency, they are not thrilled at all that prospect Justin Schultz could also be an unrestricted free agent. In a weird quirk of the CBA, there is a loophole that Schultz can take advantage of and become an UFA unless Anaheim can comes to term with the University of Wisconsin standout.
The Ducks have until June 24 to negotiate exclusively, but it appears that Schultz is not interested in playing in a Ducks uniform.
“Yeah, that’s a sore spot,” Murray said in an LA Times interview. “We’ve drafted fairly well the last few years … We rebuilt and you have a young man like Justin [Schultz] coming along who gave us every indication he wanted to play for us. There’s a spot there for him on the right point on that blue line. You mention the weaknesses. Our power play has been horrible. And Justin is very good at that. So it’s a huge disappointment. You just can’t replace it. You counted on it.”
Anaheim wanted Schultz to come to Anaheim in March to play after he was done with his junior season. If Schultz had done that, it would have counted as year one of an entry level contract. Schultz was not interested.
“We’ve tried everything,” Murray said. ”We’ve offered him everything we could have. This is not a money situation because we actually offered Justin the day before we played Calgary [in the last game of the season].We offered him everything we could possibly have offered him to play for us. He didn’t even have to play that game. He just had to sign the contact from wherever he was and he could have burned a year. … So this is a situation where a young man has decided that he just wants to, as they say, check with all 29 other teams before they sign.”
Schultz was a second-round pick in 2008 and is poised to jump right into a line up. Anaheim hoped it would be theirs. It will likely be another team who benefits instead. Ouch.