February 9, 2012; Philadelphia, PA USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Brayden Schenn (10) and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn (2) during the 1st period of game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Leafs Swap Luke Schenn To Philadelphia For James van Riemsdyk

Less than 24 hours after a blockbuster deal at the 2012 NHL Draft which saw two of the Staal brothers reunited, Brian Burke has sent Luke Schenn to the Flyers for a big-body winger in James van Riemsdyk.  Thus, reuniting the Schenn brothers in the City of Brotherly Love.

This trade undoubtedly fills a need on Toronto`s top two lines: size, speed, and skill.  JVR has totaled 99 points in 198 career regular season games and also finished the 2011 playoff campaign tied for first on the team in goals with 7 in 11 games.  Of those 99 points in his career, 47 of them are goals.

On the other hand, Philadelphia addresses a huge need on defense, notably a right-hander.  Hockey Night In Canada Insider, Elliotte Friedman, reports that the Flyers are likely to shop for another right-hander on the back-end.  Schenn will also fit very nicely in Philly with his style of play.  He plays a stay-at-home, hard-hitting flavour of hockey that the city of Philadelphia is known for.  Also note that Chris Pronger was injured all year last year and will return this year.  Schenn plays a very similar style to Pronger, look for Pronger to take this kid under his wing and watch him blossom.

James van Riemsdyk was drafted 2nd overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, while Schenn was a 5th overall pick for the Leafs.

Brian Burke, classy as always, thanks Luke Schenn for his time in Toronto and announces his reasoning for the deal.

“We are really excited by the parts of the game that James will bring to the Leafs,” said Burke. “He will provide speed, size, and finesse to our top two lines and we know that he fits those needs that we have wanted to address for some time. We thank Luke for his tremendous on and off ice contributions to our organization. He’s a true professional and we wish him the very best in Philadelphia.”

It is rare in the league anymore that you see a player-for-player deal that addresses each teams`needs so specifically.  This trade couldn`t be made at a better time after taking a lot of heat for drafting two defensemen with his first two picks in the draft.  After seeing Burke take another D-man in the draft, I could smell fireworks ahead in Leafs Nation.  As stated in my previous article, drafting a high-end defenseman gave him lee-way to deal his depth on defense for an established forward.

And so it begins.. the busy offseason for Leafs Nation.  Burke is far from done, though this trade addresses a team need, there is still a lot of dead-weight left on the roster.  A quantity of contracts and average players need to be dealt for quality.  Stay tuned Leafs Nation, Burkie is only getting started!


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