With a plethora of quality defensemen in Toronto and the recent return of veteran Mike Komisarek from a broken arm, GM Brian Burke is actively looking to trade on his blue liners for offensive help. The Maple Leafs currently have seven healthy defensemen at their disposal in addition to John-Michael Liles, who is currently out with a concussion he suffered on Dec. 22, 2011 against the Buffalo Sabres.
Schenn has one goal and 11 assists this season in 41 games with a plus 7, averaging about just over 16 minutes of ice time each game. Last year he played more than 22 minutes each game. He was even a healthy scratch in early November.
In an interview on Sportsnet FAN590’s Prime Time Sports, the Leafs President and General Manager said he intends to remain proactive regarding any possible trades and would prefer to make any changes well in advance of the February 27th trade deadline as he is accustomed to. Last year, he traded veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forward Joffrey Lupul and rearguard Jake Gardiner on Feb 9th, and the year before, he acquired Dion Phaneuf, Fredrik Sjostrom and prospect Keith Aulie in return for center Matt Stajan, wingers Niklas Hagman and Jamal Mayers, as well as blue liner Ian White on Jan. 31st.
In the meantime, there have been rumors floating around Philadelphia that the Flyers are looking to bolster their blueline with the loss of Chris Pronger for the remainder of the season and the name of Luke Schenn has been mentioned in several media outlets. The Flyers would send forward James van Riemsdyk in order to reunite Luke with his younger brother Brayden, who’s a rookie this season. Philaldephia freed up when they put Pronger and his $4,921,429 cap hit on the long-term injured reserve (LTIR) and can afford to pay Luke Schenn’s $3,600,000 salary. van Riemsdyk is earning $1,654,166 this season, but will see his salary increase to $4,250,000 for the next six years after signing a six-year contract extension worth $25.5 million in late August.
To add fuel to the fire, TSN insider Darren Dreger talked about the possibility of such a trade in his daily mailbag citing the Flyers are looking to replace Pronger with steady defensemen such as Tim Gleason or Luke Schenn. Moreover, Dreger expects that Burke will meet Schenn later today about lifting his modified no-trade clause. Don Luce, the Flyers director of player development, was reportedly at the Air Canada Centre on Thursday for Leafs 2-0 win over Buffalo and he’s expected to be at the First Niagara Centre for Friday’s rematch.
The other teams rumored to interested in Schenn include the Anaheim Ducks, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks, but a lot of teams are looking to bolster their blue line before the playoffs.
As a Leafs fan are you willing to part ways with Luke Schenn in order to obtain a big forward to complete the team’s top-six?
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A long-time Joe Sakic fan, Fred, 35, is a freelance sports writer and translator. Fred earned a Bachelor of Translation in 2002 at Laval University in Quebec City. He also writes on the Montreal Canadiens for HabsAddict.com and he is an associate editor and a baseball columnist on Dobberbaseball.com. He is also fluent in English, French and Spanish.