The Pittsburgh Penguins traded for Schultz on Saturday, acquiring the 25-year-old defenseman for a 2016 third-round draft pick. And it'll be up to Gonchar, the former NHLer who's now Pittsburgh's defensive development coach, to fix Schultz.
Schultz is in his fourth season in the league, but it's been all downhill since his rookie year, when he had 27 points in the lockout-shortened 48-game 2013 season. He had 33 points in 2013-14, 31 last season, and has seen his production dip dramatically this season, recording only three goals and seven assists in 45 games.
While Schultz's career began with plenty of hype, playing for the Edmonton Oilers hasn't seemed easy nor fun for him. There was a lot of pressure, and he struggled to live up to it. Under new head coach Todd McLellan, Schultz saw his ice time drop to a career-low 20:08 per game.
The move should help Schultz, as he'll be out of the spotlight in Pittsburgh and simply one of the guys on a far more talented team. Gonchar, an offensive defenseman in his day, should be able to impart some wisdom, and so will Kris Letang, who's one of the best right-handed offensive defensemen in the game.
After three-and-a-half seasons in Edmonton, Schultz has nowhere to go but up. And for his sake, hopefully the playoffs.