Jan 13, 2012, 9:30 AM EDT
With last night’s big trade sending shock waves through the NHL, our insatiable sides urge on an obvious question: who’s next?
Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke is far from shy when it comes to making splashy moves and he’s gone on record of saying that he wants to improve the team for this playoff run. That’s a departure from past seasons when it seemed to be all about building for the future.
With that in mind, the already present Luke Schenn trade rumors gain some extra credibility. The defensive-minded blueliner told The National Post’s Sean Fitz-Gerald that the rumblings don’t really bother him, however.
“No, not really,” Schenn said. “In the three-and-a-half years I’ve been here, there’s been a few rumours of trades. It happens to come up every year, somehow. Like I said, I’m real happy to be here in Toronto.”
Maybe he should be a little concerned, though.
Sure, Schenn has plenty of things going for him. At only 22 years old, there’s good reason to believe that he should just get better. He’s also a player who brings a rugged style to the team as he leads the Buds in hits by a mile. (Schenn has 130 hits this season while no one else has 100.)
On the other hand, there are some reasons to believe he’s expendable. After averaging 22:22 minutes per game in 2010-11, Schenn’s only been on the ice for 16:35 minutes per game. That ranks him sixth among Leafs blueliners behind Mike Komisarek and just ahead of Keith Aulie and Cody Franson.
Considering the five-year, $18 million contract he signed during the summer and those dwindling numbers, Schenn seems far from untouchable.
Now, that’s not to say that Toronto would be wise to get rid of a player who was once the lone source of hope in a broken development system, but it’s certainly reasonable to at least float the idea.
(It doesn’t hurt that his brother Brayden plays for the Philadelphia Flyers, otherwise known as the team Luke has been linked to most often lately, by the way.)
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