February 19, 2009
by Jonah… So Brian Burke has been offered a lottery pick for Luke Schenn. His response was why trade a 19 year old player who is earning 22 minutes a night of ice time for an unproven prospect. Question is do you agree? From my perspective, I wouldn’t make this deal before the lottery happens. Unless I knew it would be for #1, I wouldn’t make the deal. I can’t imagine that at this time the other team, and I am willing to bet it was Tampa, would trade their number one straight up for Schenn. They would want more. They don’t want players either, they want prospects or picks. Burke would get crucified if he traded Schenn plus anything for a lottery pick. That doesn’t mean Schenn is untradeable. As Burke has said publicly already, offer me 10 first rounders and he is gone. We all know that he says that tongue in cheek. The offer could be less then 10 first rounders and Schenn would be gone. One for one, would you trade Luke Schenn for John Tavares? I haven’t seen JT play first hand. I have seen a bit on TV and I have read the reviews. One NHL scout told me this am that he would make that trade every day of the week and 2x on Saturday. I would be stunned if Schenn got moved prior to the end of the season. Would I be shocked if he got dealt before or at the draft? Not one bit.
I really liked the segment Stellick and Landry had after talking to Ron Wilson. Wilson was good, he didn’t say too much. He was asked the usual questions, he dumped a little bit on Carey Price, but recovered quite well. The only thing that stuck with me was when Wilson said there are 7 or 8 guys from which to build upon. We could go through the list of who they are, granted it gets harder after Schenn and Stajan. it got me thinking though. If Burke is able to clean the slate, I mean really gut this team, from Wilson’s perspective was this season a waste of time? All the principals, practices, lessons etc. that he has tried to instill, if they are left on only 5-7 guys and you have a new 10-15 (and lots not even consider the Marlies roster), are they any further ahead. Unless all the guys Burke acquires are Wilson type guys or are so raw that the bad habits haven’t been established, next season could be equally as frustrating for Wilson. I guess the only difference will be that the guys he will be coaching should be long term guys as opposed to this years bunch. As a coach, or coaching staff, that has to be frustrating as hell.
Stellick made a great point after the interview. He said that Wilson is the cover boy of the Leafs team this year (along with Schenn he said) but if Wilson is next year then Wilson and Burke have a big problem. I think that is exactly right. I think the one thing this team really lacks is an identity. Who is the one Maple Leaf player the fans rally around and support. It’s hard to say Luke Schenn. He is only 19. It is not like he is leading end to end rushes (that isn’t his game). He doesn’t have an overly dynamic personality (he is 19!). While the physical part of the game is certainly good, he doesn’t throw Wendel Clark like hits (he’s only 19 and he plays defence). Grabovsky is a lot like Sergei Berezin, fun to watch especially when he scores but…. Jason Blake has really come a long way. He has a few thousand more miles to become a fan favorite. The team doesn’t even have the prototypical mucker or plumber for the fans to cheer especially when he scores. May could be that guy, if LOST were more then a TV show and time travel were possible. The next 13 days are going to be interesting as hell. I think they will exciting in that moves will be made. I don’t see anything tangible coming back that is going to get people excited. It’s hard to get over excited about a draft pick, except that it offers the greatest thing ever, and no, not a mutton lettuce and tomato sandwich, HOPE… Hope for maple leaf nation is the greatest thing. With JFJ we had none, well none that related to winning. The hope was that the powers that be wake and realize the mistake they had in hiring him in the first place.
13 days to go, a TON of work to be done. This should be a very,very interesting time for leaf fans.
Jonah, blogger of torontosportsmedia.com