McPhee was available to the media on Monday afternoon to answer questions about the team's strategy for the upcoming NHL Draft, which will take place at New Jersey's Prudential Center on June 30. The manager stated that he has no problem with a player requesting a trade and would do his best to fulfill those wishes. Schultz publicly stated that he wanted to be moved due to a diminishing role over the last few seasons. McPhee stated that trading Schultz after a public request wouldn't make it any more difficult to trade him. However, McPhee indicated Schultz's lack of playing time would.
McPhee wouldn't provide comment about whether using one of the team's two compliance buyouts was a potential course of action. Schultz is entering the final year of a four-year contract, which carries an annual average value of $2.75 million against the salary cap.
In terms of using the compliance buyouts, McPhee noted he was going to meet with ownership on Monday and insinuated that it would be a topic of discussion.
The manager also discussed the status of negotiations with the team's free agents. Karl Alzner and Marcus Johansson will both be restricted free agents this summer, while Matt Hendricks and Mike Ribeiro will be unrestricted free agents. McPhee said the team plans to begin negotiations with the restricted free agents over the coming weeks and will match any offer sheet that might be extended them.
Negotiations with the unrestricted free agents will begin after the draft, as the manager wants financial flexibility in the event of a trade materializing on draft day.
McPhee doesn't expect to be active in the free agent market this summer but insinuated he would be open to exploring trades. However, that will not involve trading goaltender Michal Neuvirth as the team wants depth at the position. The manager also stated that the club will not extend offer sheets to other teams' restricted free agents, explaining that it's not their "style" to do so.