Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/13/10 at 01:02 PM ET
from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,
The good news for the Maple Leafs is that the ill-conceived decision to make Luke Schenn an NHL player at 18 apparently won’t prevent him from becoming a quality NHL player. He has improved dramatically this season, and its not inconceivable that when the time comes to start looking at names for the 2014 Canadian Olympic team, he’ll have wedged his way into the conversation.
But that’s a long, long way off. Schenn’s pedigree suggests he’ll be among the better defensive blueliners in the league by then and his development curve is upwards after a mediocre sophomore year, but that doesn’t guarantee a thing.
The downside to making Schenn an NHLer so early that can’t be changed, of course, is that the bill comes due earlier. His entry level deal will expire at the end of this season, one of 11 expiring contracts the Leafs, but probably the only one that could conceivably cause Brian Burke to lose any sleep. Sure, there’s Tomas Kaberle and J.S. Giguere, but those are contracts the Leafs may be just as happy to wipe off the books, and right now it looks like they could have upwards of $24 million (depending on the cap figure next season) to spend next summer.
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