The Philadelphia Flyers will kick off the 2016-17 NHL season without the services of their new $20,500,000 investment, Brayden Schenn. The talented 24-year-old and former fourth-round pick, levelled Washington forward, T.J. Oshie, in the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs to earn three games in the press box come October.
(1/2) Philadelphia’s Brayden Schenn suspended 3 games for charging Washington’s T.J. Oshie. Video: https://t.co/b9bVwMOESN
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) April 26, 2016
Schenn has grown into a linchpin of the Flyers’ offence. He posted 59 points last season and took a significant step toward reaching his full potential. Schenn’s absence could have serious ramifications for the Philadelphia Flyers. With the Kings, Coyotes and Blackhawks on deck to start the 2016-17 season, the Flyers could find themselves 0-3 without the depth to match LA and CHI and the speed and youthful enthusiasm to match the playoff-hungry desert dogs. As I’m sure Flyers fans are aware—it’s best to avoid a sluggish start at all costs if playoff aspirations are for real.
More importantly to fantasy owners, these three games may be a trial period for coach, Dave Hakstol, to play around with some new line combinations. For those heavily invested in Schenn, fingers will be collectively crossed in hoping the coaching staff does not land on a combination more magical than the Schenn-Claude Giroux-Wayne Simmonds line from last season. This was the top forward line for the majority of Schenn’s massive home stretch, wherein he posted 44 points in 46 games from January to April.
For savvy managers well aware of Schenn’s blossoming value, you may be able to take advantage of the dreaded ‘NA’ next to Schenn’s name in more casual leagues come draft day. In the grand scheme of things, three games is a drop in the bucket, however, there will be managers who don’t recall the suspension or are simply drafting without having done their homework. The ‘NA’ may be enough of a deterrence to have Brayden fall one or two rounds where you, the studied and patient GM, will happily pick him up.
Schenn’s suspension is certainly not the end of the world—especially if the scrappy Flyers can pull out a win or two against some tough opponents to start their season— and there is a silver lining for fantasy managers hoping to scoop the dynamic, young forward at a slightly discounted price.
Here’s hoping Schenn can do his part in replicating his torrid January-to-April production in the upcoming 2016-17 campaign.