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Kraken Sign Schultz to Two-Year Deal

The Seattle Kraken have signed defenseman Justin Schultz to a two-year contract.

The Seattle Kraken continue to build their blueline. 

As the market opened on free agent frenzy, the Kraken got in on the action for themselves, agreeing to terms with defenseman Justin Schultz on a two-year contract worth an average annual value of $3 million. 

The deal, which now ties Schultz to Seattle through the 2023-24 season, gives the Kraken a solid veteran defender to fill their defense corps after the club sold practically every expiring asset for draft picks at the 2022 trade deadline in an effort to retool. 

Schultz is a decent bet at his age. The 32-year-old is not the 50-point defender that he once was in his heyday, of course, but Schultz can still move the puck at a decent pace and put up 23 points in 74 games for the Capitals last season while remaining largely healthy for the first time since before COVID. 

Worryingly, though, was that Schultz saw his usage plummet in 2021-22 as the season wore on. After averaging over 19 minutes per night the year prior, Schultz's workload dropped to under 17 last season, perhaps indicating the Capitals losing trust in him as the schedule played out. 

To hand Schultz $3 million after that is a risky proposition. But the Kraken have cap space to burn and likely won't actively compete for a Stanley Cup this season anyway, allowing them to overpay somewhat for a veteran like Schultz to surround their young core with some experience. 

The Kraken remain one of the more puzzling teams in the league, as their moves don't really point to one specific organizational plan moving forward. But, in a vacuum, Schultz at the price Seattle signed him is a decent bet for a team that needs to at least project the image of competency in its second year of existence. 


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