According to one member of the Boston Bruins online community, the Canucks have negotiated a two-year deal with former-Bruins forward and pending unrestricted free agent, Tim Schaller. The supposed annual average value (AKA the number that determines his cap hit) is $1.9-million.
Source: Tim Schaller signing a 2-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks
— Bruins Stats (@bruins_stats) July 1, 2018
Now, if you’ve noticed that there’s a certain amount of reprehension in my approach to tackling this rumour, let me clarify — it’s by design. With all due respect to Bruins Stats, he’s not exactly someone I would consider a source for sensitive information like this. It’s not just a lack of checkmark; I’d honestly never crossed paths with this person previously.
That said, his following isn’t insignificant and he seemed relatively confident about this Schaller thing when I inquired further — his followup tweet offering the only reason for pause, directly from his mouth.
For me, it’s a rumour, not a report given all the facts on the ground.
Operating with what we think we might know, though, it’s an interesting nugget of potentially valuable information. Schaller is 27-years-old and played his last two seasons with the Bruins, primarily on their fourth-line. He’s something of a late-bloomer, having established himself as an NHL regular in his age 26-season as a Bruin after two seasons spent bouncing between the AHL and the pros with the Buffalo Sabres.
As one might imagine for a player with that profile, Schaller’s not earning his paycheque as a scorer — not in the NHL, nor any of the junior leagues he played in en route. Schaller’s two-way profile suggests his team consistently leaves in the black, or close to, by shot attempts and expected goals — goals, not so much, but that is likely a byproduct of his poor on-ice shooting percentage of 6.5% as much as anything else.
You might hear that Schaller is a good penalty killer, too, but I wouldn’t invest myself too heavily in that. His impact on his teammates’ ability to limit shots, goals, expected goals, you name it, on the penalty kill is decidedly negative over the last three seasons. Schaller can kill penalties, yes, but whether he does it well is another thing entirely.
The rumoured contract itself is a bit rich. The $1.9-million figure that Bruins Stats put out there is almost a full million dollars above the expected contract churned out by Hockey-Graphs editor Matt Cane’s highly predictive model. Then again, the Canucks have $24-million in cap space, so it won’t likely limit their ability to business — it’s just not how I’d spend the money.
Then again, it might not be how the Canucks would spend that money either! We’ll find out, soon enough.