With the recent signings of Brad Marchand and Zach Bogosian in Boston and Winnipeg respectively, two of the big name restricted free agents that were left are now off the market. That leaves Drew Doughty and Luke Schenn as the two biggest names left unsigned. While fans in Toronto couldn't care less about the Doughty situation, they are definitely concerned about the fate of Luke Schenn.
The fact that Schenn's name is not on a contract has worried some fans. With training camp beginning tomorrow, Schenn has very little time left before a potential holdout happens. There have been reports, one from Terry Koshan from the Toronto Sun, that he is close to signing, but until he officially signs, fans will remain concerned.
The question is, how much money will Schenn be getting? While some have said that he was waiting for Doughty to sign in Los Angeles, there is no way that you can compare the two players. Now that Bogosian has signed, there is now a more suitable comparable for Schenn. With the five million that Bogosian is getting over two years, Schenn should be making pretty much the same amount.
The contracts that Burke has been handing out this summer have mostly been one or two year deals. Schenn, however, should be given a longer term contract. With Schenn being the cornerstone of the Leafs defense for the foreseeable future, he should be locked up long-term. Five years would be the term I would sign him to, but he will more than likely be signed for three years. Give him $2.75 per year and the Leafs have one of the best young shutdown defensemen in the NHL locked up at a reasonable price.
Already in his young, three-year career, Schenn has shown the poise, patience and toughness needed for the type of role he plays. He is already one of the Leafs' leaders, and they need him to be as he is one of the longest standing Leafs. It is not out of the question that Dion Phaneuf will one day give up the captaincy to Schenn.
The notion that the fact that Schenn not being signed would lead to a trade is absolutely ridiculous. If there is anyone on the Leafs roster right now that could be a Leaf for life it is Luke Schenn. He is the very definition of the player and team that Brian Burke wants. He has been strongly against trading Schenn in the past and he will continue to be in the future.
The Toronto Maple Leafs need Luke Schenn's name on a contract today.
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