As Frank Seravalli of Philadelphia Daily News reported on January 11th, the Philadelphia Flyers director of player development Don Luce has taken in three Toronto Maple Leafs games at the Air Canada Center in the past three weeks. And according to the Toronto Star’s Bob Mitchell, Luce was expected to watch the Leafs play the Sabres last Friday night in Buffalo, as well.
The Flyers, who are looking to bolster their blueline after loosing Chris Pronger to injury, are said to have their eye on Luke Schenn (older brother of Flyer center Brayden Schenn). Accquiring Schenn would make sense for the Flyers, since they can both help them this season and would also provide “capable replacement” for impending unrestricted free agent defenseman Matt Carle, who’s contract runs out July 1st.
The problem is trading Schenn to the Flyers doesn’t make much sense for the Leafs. Philadelphia (4th, 56 points) is an Eastern conference rival who are seven points ahead of the Leafs (7th, 49) in the standings. Technicallly, they could still be caught — and getting Schenn would definitely solidify their blueline. Why would the Leafs want to do the Flyers any favours? Also, the Flyers don’t have the frontline center the Leafs covet.
Meanwhile, Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke tells the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle that he is not in trade talks to move Schenn. In a recent meeting with the young blueliner, Burke assured him that he is not shopping him.
We’re getting a lot of calls and we’re listening. But that’s very different than offering a player. Fielding a phone call on a player is very different than making a phone call on a player.
However, if the right deal came along Burke told Schenn that he may pull the trigger.
I told Luke it’s not a guarantee that he wouldn’t be traded if something materializes, but we’re not in trade discussions with any team about him right now. We haven’t offered him to anybody. I don’t know where the rumours started. I told him that’s not happening.
When asked about the rumors, Schenn told the Toronto Star that he’s used to the rumors.
It doesn’t really mean much. They’re just rumours and I’m happy being here in Toronto. In the 3 1/2 years that I’ve been here there has been a few rumours about trades that were going to happen. They come up every year somehow.
One scenario that could play out is the Schenn brothers being reunited in Toronto. Seravalli believes that the Flyers might also be interested in Maple Leafs’ Cody Franson. Could that be the Maple Leaf Luce was actually scouting? And does Philadelphia have any interest in parting with Bryden Schenn to bolster their defensive core? Remains to be seen…