CBC’s Tim Wharnsby reports that Brayden Schenn is asking for a one-year deal worth $5.5MM. The Flyers are offering a two-year deal worth $4.25MM in year one and $4.37MM in year two. Any decision by an arbitrator would trigger the Flyers’ ’walk-away’ rights—the option for the team to walk away from the decision and render the player an unrestricted free agent—because an award would be above the $3.9MM threshold. Because the Flyers elected a two-year decision, using the walk away right would reduce the decision to one year and then Schenn becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Schenn scored 26G and 33A in 80 games last year for the Flyers, finishing third in team scoring. Schenn’s numbers are higher than Chris Kreider’s, who the New York Rangers signed for $4.65MM AAV prior to arbitration. Schenn’s production is also higher than Alex Killorn’s—another RFA signed before arbitration— who agreed to a long-term deal worth $4.45MM AAV. The best comparable from Schenn’s point of view is St. Louis Blues forward Jaden Schwartz. Schwartz signed a five-year deal worth $5.5MM AAV ahead of arbitration. The young Blues forward scored 8G and 14A this year in only 33 games, but potted 26G and 35A in 75 games last season. Schwartz also netted 4G and 10A in 20 playoff games this year as the Blues made it to the Western Conference Finals.
Wharnsby also reports that Peter Holland—fresh off of being waived by the Maple Leafs in a move to prove the center’s value around the league—is asking for $2.1MM. The Leafs have offered $900K. The parties are apart by $1.2MM. The center scored 9G and 18A in 65 games for the Leafs last season while sporting only a 46.5% success rate in the face-off dot. The Leafs have been patient with Holland, but expectations from management that he will flourish into a power-forward are waning.
Holland’s perception as a bottom-six forward poses a problem for accurately pinning down his worth. On one hand, Lars Eller—a center with similar stats—is making $3.5MM annually. On the other hand, Mikhail Grigorenko—also with similar stats—just signed a one-year deal before arbitration worth only $1.3MM. So much of a bottom-six forward’s value relies on how the league perceives a player, regardless of whether that perception is valid. Gritty forwards get paid more than offensive busts despite similar stats.