When exactly did Wild Defensman Nick Schultz stop sucking so badly on the ice? For years I have winced whenever he went back to handle the puck or try to break up an odd man rush. I remember shaking my head in disgust when he signed his long-term deal with the team, but now I actually think he's priced fairly.
Nick was never going to be the #1 defenseman many thought he would be early in his career. He is what he is...a solid #2 or #3 who doesn't provide a lick of offense (25 goals in 660 games played), but he has developed into a pretty decent player in the defensive zone. He rarely turns the puck over and seems to always be positioned in the correct spot. He's certainly better than old whipping boys Martin Skoula and Filip Kuba and we should be happy about that.
Will he ever be an all-star? Nope, but he fills a need on this team. My only wish is that he'd develop a bit of a mean streak. The dude only averages about 35 PIM a season and I'd like to see him mix it up more when called upon.