Anyone who was following along this summer remembers the saga of former Anaheim Ducks prospect Justin Schultz utilizing a CBA "loophole" to free up his own bargaining rights, escape Anaheim, and plant his flag in the Edmonton Oilers. It rightfully ruffled a lot of feathers on the Ducks' side.
Today marks the first meeting between the Ducks and the Oilers since last season, and the first time Schultz will face the team he misled for years, then slipped away leaving the Ducks without any sort of return. The Honda Center should be filled with plenty of hate tonight.
Prior to writing for Battle of California, I wrote for a blog called Ducks Daily (since renamed to Pucks of a Feather), and I documented some of the twitter heat Schultz was receiving after making his decision to sign with Edmonton. Despite the site being mostly unread and ad-infested, that particular article generated a lot of buzz.
Go read the article now.
The article was tweeted out by some Oilers media types, and the next day was discussed on the Edmonton airwaves on AM 630 CHED's "Oilers Now" radio show. You can read that article here, or you can listen to the excerpt from the show below. It was the most attention that has ever been paid to me in my sad, cold life.
Judging by the stir back in July, had the Ducks had their first meeting with Edmonton back in October as the pre-lockout schedule was arranged, the hate would have been pretty palpable at the Ponda. Even Getzlaf was in on it during the off-season, stating "...a lot of players, not just on this team, don't like the way he's handling this situation." But now, with so many months in between and so many other story lines building around the Ducks and the rest of the league, will Ducks fans still feel the same passion? Will Schultz elicit the same response that Kariya once did? A shower of boos every time he touches the puck? Or are we all over it?
We'll find out tonight, as Schultz has 60 minutes to see what Ducks fans think of him now, months after he turned on us.
Prediction: Fans expect a lot of big hits on Schultz, everyone goes home disappointed. But Ducks still win 4-3.