Toronto Maple Leafs Senior Vice-President of Hockey Operations Dave Nonis feels confident that the club and restricted free agent defenceman Luke Schenn will have a deal in place when training camp opens Sept. 16.
Speaking on TSN 1050 Radio Thursday morning, Nonis discussed the status of contract talks between the club, Schenn and his agent, Don Meehan.
"Contracts sometimes take a little longer to get done," Nonis said in the one-on-one interview. "This isn't the first one that's gone into late August.
"When you're starting point is the player wants to be here and the team wants to have him, usually you find a way to get it done."
The 21-year-old Schenn played through the final season of his three-year entry-level contract last season, earning a base salary of $875,000. While he'll be looking for a multi-year deal, Nonis said that the club needs to measure all the deals that are out there before they make contract offers.
"This one is a little more time consuming for us then others," he said.
Nonis went on to discuss the acquisition of injured centre Matthew Lombardi, who missed the last 80 games of the 2010-11 season with a concussion. Nonis said he's been looking promising, although there was no timetable on his return.
"We're very comfortable that he's on his way back, that the concussion isn't an issue at this point," explained Nonis. "But there's a lot of things that happen when you have that kind of injury; there's neck issues, there's nerve issues and those all have to be addressed.
"With Matthew, there is no timetable. He's getting better. He's been feeling very good. His workouts have increased in duration and intensity, but he won't be playing for us until he's ready to play. So whether that's a month or six months, who knows when that's going to be. We're not going to rush him, but we're going to be pushing as hard as we can to get him ready and prepared."
In 2009-10, the speedy Lombardi produced 19 goals and 53 points playing for the Phoenix Coyotes. In 446 career games between Phoenix and with the Calgary Flames, the Montreal native has posted 89 goals and 47 assists with a plus- 27 rating.
The Maple Leafs finished 10th in the East last season and ended the year tied as the fourth-lowest scoring team in the East, while finishing 24th in the league in goals-against.