As the days trudge along and the countdown begins (61 days!) until puck drop on opening night, there remains some unfinished business for the Leafs front office between now and training camp. Although both the team and the player consider the new deal to be merely a matter of time, and while Schenn is one of 36 RFAs who remain unsigned at this juncture, every Leafs fan will be able to breathe easier once the Human Eraser is under contract.
According to The Globe and Mail, negotiations have begun between Brian Burke and Schenn’s agent, Don Meehan. Of course, neither side will reveal any details about specific salary and term for the contract, and it isn’t clear how far the two sides are apart at this stage.
Neither Meehan nor Leafs general manager Brian Burke have tipped their hand as to how negotiations on Schennâ€™s contract are progressing, but itâ€™s fair to say heâ€™s one of the harder players in Torontoâ€™s lineup to put a dollar figure on.
Drafted fifth overall by the Leafs three years ago, Schenn has become a dependable defensive defender capable of playing second-pair minutes (he averaged more than 22 a game last season), putting him in a small group among players his age.
In terms of comparable stay-at-home types around the league, Braydon Coburn (Philadelphia Flyers), Roman Polak (St. Louis Blues), Jeff Schultz (Washington Capitals) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (San Jose Sharks) are all in similar roles and have signed a new contract recently.
Using those comparables listed in the Globe, do you put Schenn with the group that includes the likes of Vlasic, Schultz and Coburn (around $3 million and change)? Mirtle seems to rule out the possibility of Schenn getting Marc Staal money ($3.975 cap hit), but given his age (still only 21 until November), potentially elite shutdown ability and steadily improving offensive numbers, that’s just about where I’d put him. While it may seem a tad pricey at the moment, if that’s what it takes to lock Schenn down for a considerable term, it will be a steal well before the end of the contract. He’s only going to get better, and with his early entry into the league forcing the sides to renegotiate by 21, the Leafs may actually benefit for that very reason.
The latest on Luke Schenn.
Danny Gray continues his series on Wendel Clark at The Leafs Nation.
Gustavsson will be relied on to support James Reimer between the pipes.
Other Hockey Links:
Some Sean Avery drama did seem long overdue, and here it is: the controversial New York Ranger is charged with battery for shoving an officer.
A look at the remaining blue liners on the open market.