Schultz, Penguins begin talking long-term extension

Posted: 28/06/2017 in NHL, Sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

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Justin Schultz isn’t taking another one-year deal.

The defenseman’s agent says his client will not accept the qualifying offer they received from the Penguins on Monday, and that long-term extension discussions have begun.

“We will not be signing the qualifying offer,” Wade Arnott told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey. “You saw what he did this year. The practical answer is it’s a non-issue.”

The Penguins’ qualifying offer to Schultz was for $1.4 million, according to Mackey, matching the cap hit of the one-year pact Schultz inked with the Penguins last July.

“We took a one-year, discounted deal to come back from last year and build upon what he did,” Arnott said. “The player took a lot of the risk. The player performed. Now the player should be rewarded.”

The pending restricted free agent broke out offensively this past season, piling up a career-high 12 goals and 51 points in 78 regular-season games, and adding 13 points in 21 playoff contests.

Schultz was a vital part of Pittsburgh’s top-four, particularly after the club lost Kris Letang for the rest of the season due to injury.

He took a big pay cut heading in 2016-17, betting on himself after playing on consecutive one-year contracts signed with the Edmonton Oilers worth $3.675 million and $3.9 million, respectively.

The agent said there’s “no hidden fact” Schultz would like to stay with the Penguins, with whom he blossomed in his first full season under Sergei Gonchar’s tutelage.

Arnott cautioned that it’s still early in negotiations on a potential long-term deal, but characterized the discussions as positive so far.

The Oilers traded Schultz to the Penguins before the 2016 deadline.

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