On Luke Schenn & Van Riemsdyk

by TSM

It’s been a long time since there’s been a reason to write one of these.

Here we go:

James Mirtle at the Globe and Mail provided some quotes from Burke and James Van Riemsdyk:

First Brian Burke:

“I don’t want to create any illusion or delusion that we’re acquiring James Van Riemsdyk as a physical presence. This is not a big banger. This is a guy who uses his size when he should. He uses it to create offensive opportunities, he uses it down low and he’s responsible and reliable in his own end. This is not a guy who’s going to put people through the glass. Sometimes people look at a big player and say oh he’s big so he should play tough. This is a skill player with size… This is not a plough horse. This is a thoroughbred.”

James Van Riemsdyk:

“Obviously there’s some mixed emotions because the Philadelphia organization has treated me well… But at the same time, going to play in Toronto is really exciting for me. The tradition they have there, the city, the fans, it’s all unbelievable. Growing up a big time Yankees fan, it’s kind of like playing for the New York Yankees of the NHL. I’m definitely looking forward to getting everything going.”

In another story Mirtle adds in some opinion:

“Who wins the deal ultimately comes down to which player fulfills their potential and can live up to their considerable contract.

Even after four NHL seasons, Schenn is still just 22 years old and has had some solid campaigns in the past. He likely needed a change of scenery to continue to improve, however, and there were rumours he was unhappy playing under former coach Ron Wilson.

Van Riemsdyk, 23, has yet to produce more than 40 points after three NHL seasons but at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds brings the size Burke has said multiple times he’s looking for this offseason.”

Kevin McGran had a story in the Toronto Star:

“James van Riemsdyk is not a prototypical power forward, not a physical player. But he is big. He can score. He can — if needed — play centre.

In short, he does a fair bit to plug some holes among the top-six forwards with the Maple Leafs. And that is the reason the Leafs parted with Luke Schenn on Saturday in a 1-for-1 trade.”

Rosie, for some reason wrote about the trade. I’ll admit it, I didnt read it.

Damien Cox on who’s to blame on the downfall of Luke Schenn:

“Schenn was a player, it should be noted, who was failed by this franchise from the start. He was drafted too high after the Leafs moved multiple picks to the Islanders to bump up to No. 5, and then Cliff Fletcher and Ron Wilson rushed him to the NHL at age 18 without valuable time in junior or the minors.

So don’t blame Schenn for failing in Toronto. Blame the Leafs for failing to have even a semblance of a logical development plan for the kid.”

Rob Longley over at the Toronto Sun:

“Until he proves he isn’t damaged goods, James van Riemsdyk is not yet a potential saviour for a team that needs so much. But at last, Burke finally has his big man up front.

The cost was reasonable, too: A once highly regarded defenceman in Luke Schenn who seemed to have lost his way in Toronto, particularly under Carlyle, for a forward with considerable untapped potential. With top-six minutes and a decent centre (maybe some day …) it certainly wouldn’t be a stretch to see van Riemsdyk as a 30-goal scorer”

Lance Hornby on Luke Schenn:

“By his third year, Schenn felt confident enough in his station to call out the team on occasion when he sensed they were talking a good game, but not being accountable. There were predictions he could become captain, a job given to Dion Phaneuf.

As far as his day job went, Schenn had two really good years out of four, his rookie campaign and the one that netted him a five-year, $18-million US deal in the summer of 2011.

But another dip in his play this season and the addition of more defencemen through trades put him on the block fairly early in the year. The one-for-one deal for winger James van Riemsdyk idled for months but was resurrected on the weekend.

“You’re going to have ups and downs in the course of your career,” Schenn said. “I leave with no regrets. You find that four years can fly by pretty quickly in this league.”

Mike Brophy at Sportsnet:

“For the Leafs it begins to answer their desire to get bigger and more skilled up front while the Flyers get a solid, but still learning defender who plays the game with physicality. Van Riemsdyk — also known as JVR — had 11 goals and 24 points in 43 games last season. In 2010-11, van Riemsdyk, who was chosen second overall in 2007, had seven goals in 11 playoff games for the Flyers.”

David Alter chimes in:

“There was talk that he was the heir apparent to the captaincy following Dion Phaneuf. Thanks to the trade that won’t happen unless he is reacquired down the road. But for someone who had appeared untouchable in his rookie season in Toronto, it feels like he’s gone too soon.

Schenn should thrive in Philly. The Flyers are a solid team and Schenn will get a fresh start with his brother Brayden. Many fans will have Oct. 27 and Nov. 28 marked on their calendar; the former date his first game against the Leafs and the latter date his first trip back to the Air Canada Centre.”

A view from Philly:

“In essence, both teams are hoping a change of scenery helps the players blossom into game-changers.”

All in all a good old hockey trade. Neither teams fans seems to be jumping up and down mad, so that’s a good sign.


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