Eddie and Homer have done it again. No matter the contract. No matter the potential. The Flyers management every season has a ‘win now’ mentality. Although this move was a necessity to help the defense out this season it was also a move to insure the Flyers blueline will be set for the next several years. Luke Schenn is still a pup at just 22 years of age so he has some growing to do still, but despite his age he handles himself very well at the back end of the ice. He is a strong and very physical blueliner. He was 7th in the league in hits last season. As of yet Luke’s offensive game is not established, but he is a solid defensive defensemen.
This was one of those trades that can be considered truly a win win for both clubs. Both players that were moved have tons of potential that their now former clubs felt could be tapped if a location change were to take place. JVR‘s issues recently have been less to do with his production and more to do with his seemingly endless laundry list of injuries. At such a young age that is a big warning sign to teams looking to bring him in. His skill level has been seen at his best, which would be versus Buffalo Round 1 of the 2011 playoffs. If he can figure out a way to harness that skill and put it out on the ice on a night in and night out basis then he will be a superstar in this league. The problem is he has yet to figure it out. The other issue with JVR in Philly was that he was buried in a very high performing offense. Laviolette really gave it an effort to make him more involved with the offense by playing him on the 1st and 2nd lines mostly while he was here, but he could never really produce that break out season that everybody thought he was in for. In Toronto JVR will most likely play on the on the top line with fellow winger Phil Kessel (if he remains in Toronto through the offseason). If he can stay healthy he has a chance to really become a key cog in that offense as they are very slim at the forward position. I hope a change of scenery does prove to be the defining moment of JVR’s career and he goes to be a prolific player in the league. He will still be cheered by most Flyers fans come Olympic time.
Luke Schenn is going to hit it off with the Flyer fan base in a big way because, to be frank, he is a punisher. He hammers opposing players any chance he gets and has an always coveted right handed shot from the point. He will fit in very well on the Flyers powerplay because of the right handed shot. As I’ve said before there is no replacement for Pronger out there. Luke Schenn is help the D as best he can. Physically he will help us deal with Pronger’s loss. Offensively he will leave something to be desired. Defensively he will for the most part not disappoint. He will really anchor the D though as a complete 6 d-men pairing of Schenn, Carle, Coburn, Grossmann, Timonen, and Meszaros is unbelievable. That is of course assuming Carles’ contract negotiations go well. Another very important aspect of this is that that D can be together for a long time, minus Timonen. They are all fairly young and can hold down the blueline for the Flyers for years to come.
All in all the trade was truly beneficial for both parties and the potential for both players is through the roof. I believe in the long run the Flyers will be the real winners of this trade because when it comes right down to it a top 4 defensemen is harder to acquire than a top 4 forward and even if JVR becomes a 30 goal scorer the Flyers for the next several years are set on them, but what you can never have enough of is shut down defensemen as the good ones are far and few between and the Flyers just landed a very young and very good shut down defensemen.
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