According to TSN, there will be one Calgary native in the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals that start Wednesday night when the Los Angeles Kings host the New York Rangers. The player is Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jeff Schultz, who played for the Calgary Hitmen from 2002-2006.
Schultz has only seen ice time in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs because his teammate and former Calgary Flame, Robyn Regehr was injured in game one of the Western Conference semifinal against the Anaheim Ducks. Despite not registering a point in seven postseason games, Schultz has been steady on the Kings blueline in the playoffs to date as he looks for his first Stanley Cup of his career. According to www.hockey-reference.com, Schultz has played 132 minutes and averaged 18 minutes and 51 seconds per game.
Despite being a -1 in the playoffs, Schultz has an excellent plus-minus ratio in his NHL career. In the regular season, he is a +78 in 399 career games with the Washington Capitals, including an NHL best +50 in 2010.
Schultz, who came to the Kings from the Capitals as a free agent on July 5, 2013, did not play a regular season game with the Kings. The 28 year-old veteran spent his time with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, before getting word of his need to play on the Kings' primary roster.
Schultz has also received high praise from former NHL superstar Ray Ferraro, who is now working as an analyst for TSN. Ferraro was very complementary of Schultz during the Pacific Division Finals against the Anaheim Ducks, saying Schultz was not out of place on the Kings blueline. The Kings beat the Ducks in seven games and then went on to beat the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games in the Western Conference Final.
Schultz is one of three former Hitmen players who will have a chance to play in the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals. Schultz will be joined by Los Angeles Kings goaltender Martin Jones and New York Rangers defenseman Justin Falk. Jones will only play however if there is an injury to Kings' goaltender Jonathan Quick (or he plays poorly), and Falk will only play if there is an injury to a Rangers' defenseman. Jones has only played in two playoff games to date, and has made seven saves without giving up a goal in 56 minutes of ice time.