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Justin Schultz set to meet suitors; players trigger five percent escalator

Unrestricted free agent defenseman Justin Schultz has not solicited any offers yet, but they are expected to begin pouring in by Thursday morning.

Schultz met with his agent Wade Arnott of Newport Sports in suburban Toronto Wednesday and is expected to begin listening to offers. It has been confirmed that the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks both have members of their front office in Toronto and will visit the Newport offices to make their pitches in person Thursday.

Schultz, the Anaheim Ducks 43rd overall pick in 2008, has garnered interest from all 30 NHL teams, but likely only the ones Schultz will seriously consider will make concrete offers. Schultz turns 22 July 6 and under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, the former University of Wisconsin defenseman can be offered a two-year deal with a maximum salary cap hit of $3.8 million, with bonuses.

• It has been confirmed by THN.com that the NHL Players’ Association has voted to trigger the five-percent escalator, which means a higher salary cap for next season along with the probability of higher escrow payments. That will put the salary cap somewhere between $70.2 million and $70.3 million.

It’s likely all moot since the league and NHLPA are about to begin negotiations for a new agreement Friday.

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