The Philadelphia Flyers have highlighted their organizational defensive depth this week, returning Ivan Provorov to his junior club and send Samuel Morin to the AHL. It may be a wealth that general manager Ron Hextall sees as a potential asset.
The Flyers currently have eight defenseman under contract at the NHL level, with great prospects waiting for their opportunity in the wings. Now, it appears that Luke Schenn may be the odd man out.
Schenn has been on the market for months and Hextall is still shopping him, according to Randy Miller of NJ.com, who said that Schenn is “a strong candidate to be traded before the… season opener.”
Schenn, who has been on the team’s fourth defensive pairing through most of camp, hasn’t developed into the player the team hoped he would when they traded James van Riemsdyk for him in 2012. In addition to a log jam and a lack of development, Schenn carries a $3.6 million cap hit and the team has just a shade over $500,000 in cap space available.
Hextall was a little coy about his plans saying, “I have no idea. Guys call and I call and you end up seeing what works out. You’re always looking to better your team.” But other statements clearly indicate that Hextall isn’t wild about Schenn’s play in camp thus far.
The need to reduce the squad by a single defenseman makes some sense, particularly if the team is looking to keep the cupboard full of prospects, but Schenn is just 25 and it wouldn’t be out of the norm for a player like Schenn to find his peak around 27, a la Erik Johnson.
Shenn played 58 games for Philadelphia last year in an injury-shortened season, scoring three goals and 11 assists.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.