TORONTO - Getting paired with Luke Schenn for much of the Maple Leafs strong finish to the 2010-11 season may have been the best break of Carl Gunnarsson’s young career.
Leafs management certainly saw enough potential in the 24-year-old Swede to re-sign the restricted free agent on Tuesday in a deal believed to be worth $2.6 million over two years.
Once Tomas Kaberle was traded to Boston, Gunnarsson’s ice time increased to more than 21 minutes a game as a comfort level with Schenn developed. “He’s a real steady player out there on both sides of the puck,” Schenn said of Gunnarsson.
“He doesn’t make too many mistakes out there and he can play big minutes. Nothing too flashy, but he’s a real steady player.”
Schenn, of course, is the biggest RFA for the Leafs off-season and is due for a big raise from his first pro contract. But as he approaches his fourth NHL season, the now veteran blueliner said Tuesday he expects things to be settled amicably.