The Arizona Coyotes have signed defenseman Luke Schenn to a two-year deal, first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger. CBC’s Elliote Friedman says the deal is worth $1.25MM AAV. ProHockeyRumors ranked Schenn the 30th best free agent this summer. The deal represents a significant pay cut for the defenseman, as Schenn’s last deal paid him $3.6MM annually for five years.
The unrestricted free agent put up 4G and 12A with both the Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings last year. The hard-nosed defenseman showed promise early on with the Toronto Maple Leafs after being drafted 5th overall in 2008. Schenn never did meet his potential, and the Leafs traded him to Philadelphia for James van Riemsdyk. Los Angeles traded for Schenn midway through last season in an attempt to bolster its defense.
Coyotes GM John Chayka says that Schenn is “a good, young defenseman and we feel we can optimize his performance here. He will be a solid addition to our blue line.” Arizona is not done with their D-corps, however, as RFA defenseman Michael Stone elected salary arbitration this summer. The hearing is set for August 4th, which gives both sides time to negotiate. The deal leaves the Coyotes with over $13MM in cap space next year, according to CapFriendly. While that is more than enough to sign RFAs Tobias Rieder and Michael Stone, the Coyotes are known to have an internal budget.