Leafs, Schenn talk business
TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency
|Luke Schenn shoots during Leafs practice at the Mastercard Centre in Toronto, March 28th 2011. (Dave Abel/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - The agent for Maple Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn expects negotiations on a new contract for the 21-year-old to begin shortly.
"Certainly no later than by the end of next week," Don Meehan said on Tuesday. "I know we will start soon."
Schenn is a restricted free agent and earned a base salary of $875,000 US in each of his first three seasons in the National Hockey League. Bonuses pushed the salary cap hit to $2.975 million a season.
The re-signing of Schenn represents the last big-ticket item on Leafs general manager Brian Burke's to-do list. With 25 players under contract, the Leafs approximately are $4.4 million under the $64.3-million salary cap.
It's probable that Meehan will negotiate with Leafs assistant general manager Claude Loiselle and Burke. But nothing actually has been planned.
Schenn had five goals and 17 assists in 82 games in 2010-11, and he came into his own defensively. Though he's a young kid by NHL standards (but not Jeff Skinner young), Schenn often was a voice of reason in the Leafs dressing room.
The Leafs on Tuesday got another transaction out of the way, signing forward Joey Crabb, who was an unrestricted free agent, to a one-year, two-way contract. Crabb, who had three goals and 12 assists in 48 games for the Leafs last season, will make $750,000 in the NHL and $105,000 if he is playing in the minors with the Toronto Marlies.
Crabb will be in an uphill fight to win a job in training camp, but don't tell him that.
"I've never been the kind of guy who goes on-line and tries to dissect the roster," Crabb said from his off-season home in Anchorage, Alaska. "I've been around for a while, so I'll just go into camp with a good focus."