The Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers pulled the trigger on a deal that should help everyone involved on Saturday. The Flyers have confirmed that they will get Luke Schenn in exchange for James van Riemsdyk.
Schenn is a young defensive defenseman that goes to a Flyers team that desperately needed this kind of player. With Chris Pronger’s availability for next season in doubt due to post-concussion syndrome, Matt Carle on the verge of testing the free agent waters, and Kimmo Timonen set to turn 39 during the 2012-13 campaign, Philadelphia had a lot of question marks when it came to its defense.
Schenn is certainly not a cure-all, and he can’t be compared to Pronger, but he does put the Flyers in a much better situation.
It’s worth noting that this deal will also unite Schenn with his brother, Brayden Schenn, making this the second major trade bringing brothers together in as many days.
Meanwhile, Toronto gets a promising young forward with top-line potential in van Riemsdyk. He’s coming off a disappointing season, but it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise if he breaks out in 2012-13, especially seeing as Toronto is likely to give him plenty of playing time.
Schenn’s annual cap hit is $650,000 less, so this also provides some mild relief for the Flyers.
Also of note, according to Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline, the Blue Jackets were counting on van Riemsdyk to be a key part of a potential Rick Nash deal. This trade might be a signal that the Philadelphia Flyers are no longer pursuing Nash.
Schenn was also rumored to be part of a potential Roberto Luongo trade with Vancouver.