Sunday, July 1, 2012

Schutlz-watch 2012 comes to an end; Burish, Street sign deals

By Nicole
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Lots of former Badger hockey player news this weekend.

We've followed the path of former-Badger and Hobey Baker finalist Justin Schultz, who opted to become a free agent before ever playing a professional game.

The Schultz situation was unusual, but the rules allow for the situation and he clearly wasn't on board with playing for the team that drafted him - the Anaheim Ducks.

But he ended the courtship - somewhat surprisingly - by signing with the Edmonton Oilers.

The Oilers aren't exactly a great hockey team, but Schultz said hopes to turn them into a top-tier team.

The Oilers are definitely a team on the rise, as they just had the no. 1 draft pick in Nail Yakupov.

No details of Schultz's contract have been released, but he'll be required to sign for at least two years.

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My new favorite NHL team is the San Jose Sharks, who will be skating two former Badger greats in Joe Pavelski and new signee Adam Burish. Both were members of the 2006 National Championship team - Burish was captain and is a Madison native.

Burish was a member of Chicago's Stanley Cup winning team and had his best professional season last season with the Dallas Stars.

He signed for four years at $7.2 million, which will give him an average annual cap hit of $1.8 million.

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Another former Badger, Ben Street, signed a two-way deal with the Calgary Flames.

From Chuck Schwartz at Bucky's Fifth Quarter:

"On a two-way contract, Street would make one salary if he's in the AHL, and a much more lucrative salary if he's in the NHL. That's opposed to a one way contract which pays you NHL money even if you're in the minors.

Street had his best season as a pro hockey player last year with the Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins. The former Badger captain recorded 60 points (28-32-60) in 83 games for the Penguins.

Like Burish, Street was a member of that 2006 National Championship winning Wisconsin team. After being forced to miss an entire season with torn knee ligaments in 2008-09, Street was an important piece on the team that made a run to the 2010 National Championship before they eventually fell to Boston College.

Street likely will spend the start of next season with Calgary's AHL team in Abbotsford. There he'll be re-united with defenseman Joe Piskula, another member of that 06 title squad."

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