The Definition of 'Irony': Flyers Shopping Luke Schenn for Offense?

Created 4 years 316 days ago
by Michael DeNicola

Tags: James van Riemsdyk Luke Schenn Trade Rumor
Views: 3095

by Michael DeNicola

Tuesday, Nov. 12th, 2013 --

When I came into the office this morning, I naturally opened my browser and shuffled through a few hockey news sites. Then, as always, I opened Twitter to check out all the Hockey Hall of Fame chatter from last night -- congrats to the late Fred "The Fog" Shero, by the way. Instead, I was met face to face with one of Spector's Hockey's early A.M. tweets...

For starters, and non-Flyers related, I'm loving all the speculation surrounding P.K. Subban's unhappiness in Montreal. If the Norris Trophy winning offensive-defenseman is seeking a modest two-year extension with the Habs, then signs are pointing towards his eagerness to pull on another NHL sweater in the not-so-distant future. If that's true, I get all giddy like a schoolgirl; I'll never stop imagining that kid playing on the Flyers blueline. Subban may be one of our fanbase's most hated opponents, but he is everything our core needs added to it. I may sound abrasive and close-minded, but I couldn't care any less if you disagree with me on that. Moving along...

Okay, so once I had my fill on Subban, my attention was absorbed by the latest rumors involving the Flyers and our (relatively) newly acquired defenseman, Luke Schenn....

Jim Matheson [Edmonton Journal] reports the Philadelphia Flyers are "vigorously shopping" defenseman Luke Schenn, who’s been a healthy scratch in three games.

Lyle then adds his own insight...

"If true, the Flyers should find more interest in him than in the oft-injured Andrej Meszaros, but they won’t get as much for him as the Leafs did when they shipped him to Philadelphia for James van Riemsdyk."

Let me just get this out of the way; I do not expect, in the slightest, that the Flyers will succeed in trading Andrej Meszaros, and I wish to the hockey gods that everyone understood why. 

Meszaros doesn't come without his share of talent. Don't get me wrong, Andrej is an asset. However, he comes with a hefty price tag -- not just his average annual value which stands at $4mm (not nearly worth that cap hit), but he's presently owed the larger part of his 5.5-million salary dollars []. And as Richardson stated, he's an injury liability. All factors which stand to weigh the heaviest on his chances of being dealt.

If Paul Holmgren were able to dispatch Meszaros for even a lowly 7th round draft pick in return, I believe he would have done so already. But he hasn't, so we're stuck with the inflated cap hit for the remainder of the League Year. It is time we, as a people, accept that. 

Now, getting to the meat & potatoes of this discussion, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the Flyers are "vigorously shopping" Luke Schenn. It doesn't have as much to do with his performance this season as it does with the fact that Paul Holmgren has limited our options. 

Over the course of his GM tenure, Paul has done a swell job getting this team back to a competitive level again and sustaining it, however we've hit the drop-off, and man, is it a steep, steep cliff. 

Through the many transactions Homer has quarterbacked, he has simultaneously put a chokehold on our short- and long-term contingencies. The no-movement clauses, the no-trade clauses, the ridiculously overpriced contracts, and the continuance to pluck from our developing pipeline has produced the dire straits we're experiencing today. Our payroll is abundant with unyielding obligations -- some of which are contractually permanent, and others are fundamentally immovable. 

Considering all of that, our best efforts to fill gaps force our cross-hairs over players like Luke. 

Has the older Schenn struggled in the early parts of this season? Yes, but who hasn't (not named Mason)? The kid is still 24-years old, and has all the potential to become a solid #2 defenseman, or, at the very least, a highend #3 blueliner. But once again, time is our franchise's enemy. Instead of practicing patience and building an arena which affords you the trials from a young NHL d-man, the Flyers' options are siphoned through a maze of their own self-fabricated obstructions.

Think about what our organization had to give up to receive Luke Schenn...

And now, do you know what the Flyers are missing? Here's a hint; re-watch that YouTube video. 

Don't let that lead you to believe that I'm regretting our decision to trade for Luke. This team was in big need for a defensive-defenseman, and with the rise of forwards like Giroux, Voracek, Read, Brayden Schenn, and even Wayne Simmonds, at the time, JVR had been made expendable. 

Fast-forward to today, those skaters are concurrently struggling mightily in offensive production. Mix that with our letdown (abbreviated) 2013 season, our miserable 2013-14 record, and our employment of too many inflexible contracts undeservedly belonging to mediocre talent, it's no wonder Luke's head is shoved on the chopping block. 

And what's worse is.... because of his recent struggles in a flip-flop system (a dilemma manufactured by our own decision-makers), our head office will be unable to retrieve the same value for Luke Schenn.

So what's the definition of irony? Trading James van Riemsdyk for defensive need (Luke Schenn), and then trading Luke Schenn, 16-months later, for offensive need ([Enter Player Name Here]).

I'm not saying this will happen any time soon, nor am I buying into the rumor mill just yet. There's still plenty of season left. However, if it happened today, I'd be the last man surprised. And coincidentally enough, I'd be the first man to punch another divot in Paul Holmgren's "one step forward, two steps backward" track record.

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