Rumors of a purported deal with RFA Luke Schenn are swirling today. Suggested numbers put the deal between $3-4M per year.
At this point, things remain unconfirmed so analysis and reaction should be tempered. However, if the $4M cap hit and three year term prove true, it’s not a contract that Brian Burke should be terribly proud of. The Leafs purchase none of Schenn’s UFA years and the pay scale is at the top of the range for a defender with such a limited offensive ceiling as Schenn.
The second contract has recently become one of paying for a players future, assumed contributions based on "potential", so the dollar figure isn’t wholly abnormal at this point. This is part of the reason so many RFA negotiations have dragged out this off-season: the player has limited leverage as a restricted free agent, but there nevertheless exists significant precedence for agents to point to in defense of a high price tag.
That said, the relatively high dolllr figure usually ensures a few years of the player’s prime, UFA-eligibility for the club. In accounting for such a contract, the team essentially overpays for the first few years, but bets on getting more value relative to fair market price at the end.
As such, if the contract as rumored is real, Schenn is getting the best of both worlds: the high-end pricetag as an RFA, but with the ability to go straight to the open market as soon as he is able.
As mentioned though we don’t yet know how accurate these rumors are. More analysis will follow when the true numbers are revealed.