The Senators are making their pitch to Justin Schultz today.
So are the Leafs.
Scuttlebutt is the Minnesota Wild have also been added to the shortlist of teams the Wisconsin Badgers defenceman is considering. That would bring the total of teams to six, including the Rangers, who reportedly had coach John Tortorella and defenceman Ryan McDonagh in on their meeting with Schultz.
Vancouver and Edmonton are the other two teams in the running for the point-producing blueliner.
Some people believe Vancouver has the inside track, as he’s from West Kelowna and there’s talk his parents have seasons tickets to Canucks games.
I think if the Senators get him, that will surely spell the end to Sergei Gonchar’s days in Ottawa. After July 1, when the more prominent free agents have been snapped up, somebody is going to feel a real need for a veteran defenceman like Gonchar, even if his best days are behind him and his salary is on the hefty side.
I think the Senators wish – and probably even their promise to Schultz – is that he will play on the 3-4 pairing, with either Chris Phillips or whatever veteran defenceman Bryan Murray is able to pick up via free agency/trade.
I’m guessing the coaching staff is going to give every opportunity for a Jared Cowen-Erik Karlsson pairing to click at training camp.