2012 NHL Free Agents: Twitter Reaction to Justin Schultz's Signing with Oilers

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2012 NHL Free Agents: Twitter Reaction to Justin Schultz's Signing with Oilers
Photo Credit: TheHockeyWriters.com

The saga is over.

Highly sought-after free agent Justin Schultz has, at last, signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Edmonton Oilers.

Per the Oilers' team release:

Mark Spector of Sportsnet.ca offers the financial dimensions of the contract. As expected, Schultz's deal is the maximum allowed for an entry-level contract:

Schultz's decision comes after hours of waiting as the 21-year-old defenseman ruled out one team after another from the sweepstakes.

Those eliminations, though, often came quite far apart.

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal explains just how slow the process was:

In the meantime, conversely, the hashtag #Schultzwatch managed to work its way to the top of the Twitter trends leaderboard:

Once Schultz's decision arrived, however, the reaction was instantaneous.

TSN's Craig Button raved about the youngster:

Spector also offered up his praise:

NHL.com's Dan Rosen ranks Schultz among good company, too:

...but then Rosen brought the hysteria back down to Earth:

Nevertheless, Schultz will indeed enter Edmonton with both sky-high projections and a boatload of talent. His last season with the University of Wisconsin was fantastic, as the Oilers' team account notes:

With that excellent college career now behind him, Schultz will step directly into Edmonton's turbulent defensive cast, currently highlighted by rearguards Ryan Whitney and Ladislav Smid, this fall.

However, Schultz may enter opening day on the team's second pairing with another recent Edmonton addition—former Wild defenseman Nick Schultz.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Michael Russo agrees:

No matter his placement on the depth chart, though, Schultz's signing with the Oilers gives Edmonton more hope for next year than they've had in a while.

Could GM Steve Tambellini be thinking playoffs? Perhaps, but the odds are still slim.

@ChaoticAppeal puts it bluntly:

And, of course, the Oilers have one more statistic working against that dream: They've finished either last or second to last in the NHL for three straight seasons. 

TSN's Bruce Arthur, even after today's signing, doesn't cut them any slack:

Was Justin Schultz's signing in Edmonton a smart move? Will the young defenseman lead the Oilers to the playoffs next season?

Sound off with your reaction in the comments section below.

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