Tuesday, October 28, 2008
A Toronto Schenn-sation
Much to the chagrin of The Kelowna Rockets, the Toronto Maple Leafs made it official in regards to their intention of keeping rookie Luke Schenn with them this season.
Maybe The Clash put it best when they penned "Should I stay or Should I Go?"
We posed the question to Adam Proteau of The Hockey News prior to the start of the season and back then he found it highly unlikely that Schenn would stick with the Leafs. With a plethora of NHL capable blueliners with the team, the argument was made that Toronto didn't need to have Schenn filling a depth spot.
Yet Schenn isn't just playing a small role while he gets his feet wet, he's carrying more than his fair share of the workload.
The question still remains though if this is the best thing for the Leafs and their budding star. Few believe that Toronto is a playoff team with or without Schenn so why burn a year off of his contract?
To me the answer is pretty simple. If he's proving that he can not only handle but thrive at the NHL level, then you have to keep him. Would he develop as much going back to the WHL? I would suggest practicing with NHL players on a daily basis would be more beneficial to development than playing in the WHL.
This isn't a slight on the WHL or on the coaching available in the CHL, although some would suggest that was what Leafs bench boss Ron Wilson was doing when he said "This may sound arrogant on my part but I truly believe he can get better coaching at this level (than in junior)."
Greg Drinnan has a wonderful take on that sentence alone, you can find it here.
No for me, the bottom line is that you shouldn't hold back a player if he's proving capable of making the jump. What this does now for the Leafs is provide some surplus that they could potentially uses in a trade... if any of the other 29 NHL teams agree with them that their excess blueliners are indeed NHL calibre.
But that's my perspective, I'd like to hear yours.