September 14 2011 04:54PM
Luke Schenn needs a new contract and this late in the game it's incredibly unlikely he won't be a Toronto Maple Leaf at the start of training camp. He's a guy that Brian Burke loves: he hits, he fights, he blocks shots and he's apparently a good kid in the locker room if you're into that sort of thing.
What odd is that the rumors swirling around have Luke Schenn earning almost $4M per season and that seems pretty high given Schenn's skillset. Defensive defensemen are generally fairly underrated. Mike Komisarek got $4.5M to be a big shutdown guy in Toronto (ignore that he actually sucks, he was a premiere free agent). Francois Beauchemin got $3.8M to be a shutdown guy. Anton Volchenkov got $4.25M in free agency. All of those guys were unrestricted free agents and while I understand paying for potential the reality is you need to put the squeeze on your RFAs.
I pulled a list of comparables for Luke Schenn. My criteria were:
- Aged 19-24
- Between their first and third season in the NHL
- 1700 minutes played in the season
- Between 15 and 25 points
A list of Luke Schenn's recent comparables:
How do Schenn's numbers stack up against the average?
This feels like a reasonable comparison except for the fact that the cap has gone up. In 2008-2009 the salary cap was $56.7M as compared to the current $64.3M, a 13.4% difference. $2,000,000 plus 13.4% is $2.26M per season although I think Zbynek Michalek and Duncan Keith's numbers are extraordinarily low. I'd pin Luke Schenn's worth on a three year deal somewhere between $2.75M and $3.25M. The truth is $4M gets you a big name guy. Hamhuis' contract last summer was worth $4M. Ehrhoff's cap hit from this summer is $4M.
It takes a lot for a d-man to crack the $4M barrier: he needs to be a recognized, elite UFA, Norris candidate, or just score a lot. I love Luke Schenn as a player but I just don't see his pricetag being that high.