Saturday, July 10, 2010
What if Burke decided to trade Luke Schenn
This is a question that many news reporters and Leafs fans are wondering when it comes to the Tomas Kaberle saga, is it possible for Leafs general manager Brian Burke to switch gears and move the younger Luke Schenn for a top forward instead of the veteran blueliner. The one thing that most NHL teams covet is a puck moving offensive defensemen and Tomas Kaberle more then fits the bill, Kaberle's pinpoint passes have sent many Maple Leaf players one on one with the opposition goaltender over his career in Toronto and is the type of defensemen that the club will need as it moves towards respectability.
Brian Burke could send Kaberle packing out of town but in a few years may require a player just like Kabby to bolster his roster, how is that for irony. Kaberle loves Toronto and would like nothing more then to retire as a Toronto Maple Leaf, there is no denying that the 32 year old Kaberle is a top 10 offensive defensemen in the NHL and is a bargain at $4.25 million for the season. Could then the Leafs general manager re-sign the veteran blueliner for a longer stay and set his sights on shipping the younger Luke Schenn out of town?
Luke Schenn had extended periods of poor play in his sophomore season and this by no means is a reason to get rid of him or give up hope that he blossoms into a steady defensemen, but a Tomas Kaberle he is not and the fact that Schenn is only going to turn 21 years old at the end of the year and with the Leafs having players named Dion Phaneuf and Mike Komisarek of similiar mold could this mean a short stay for Schenn and an extension for Kaberle? The fact that a club that acquires Schenn will have his rights until he is 25 years old before he would be eligible to be a UFA is five years away and this is a big boost for the Leafs who are looking to acquire a young top six forward for their club. Schenn also was not drafted by Brian Burke, so the Leafs general manager may have little attachment to the young blueliner.
Could a Luke Schenn trade give the Leafs an opportunity to acquire the likes of Anaheim's Bobby Ryan? Colorado's Chris Stewart? or Dallas' James Neal? all unsigned restricted free agents. The players mentioned above are all wingers and its possible that Burke may be looking to add a center with this kind of trade and could a change of scenery get the likes of Sam Gagner or Andrew Cogliano both from Edmonton going again? The Oilers do need to bolster their backend and are stocked up front, could a trade of Schenn really be out of the norm here? Leafs Nation awaits patiently (in most cases) to see which way Brian Burke goes and with Kaberle's no trade clause kicking back in on August 15th, will the Leafs GM change course and set his sights on moving the number two? Leafs fans want to know.