Toronto Maple Leafs Notes: Luke Schenn's Big Night, Bobby Ryan Rumours, and More

Derek HarmsworthSenior Writer ISeptember 30, 2008

Thoughts On Last Night

What can be said about Luke Schenn?  He has been phenomenal this preseason with the Maple Leafs, and has gotten better with every game.  Last night was no exception.

Aside from playing his usual 20-plus minutes of solid two-way hockey, Schenn also found the back of the net on the shootout winner, a pretty deke that made him look like a veteran of the tiebreaking procedure.

Schenn, taking his first every shootout attempt at any level of hockey, deked goalie Manny Legace of St. Louis to seal the deal for the Maple Leafs last night, as they edged the Blues 4-3.

Despite the depth the Maple Leafs have on the back end, it is getting very hard to see how the Leafs can send Schenn back to the WHL now.  He has displayed maturity beyond his years, and has been used on the ice in key situations, responding well to all challenges so far in this young preseason.

On the downside, though, you have to remember that he is taking the minutes of Jeff Finger, who is out nursing a sore foot.  When Finger comes back, it would leave the Leafs in a bit of a bind.

Suppose Finger comes back, and he is planted in the top four.  Does it really make sense to have Schenn playing small minutes in the NHL, as opposed to huge minutes in the WHL, where he can being relied upon in all situations?

It's tough to say.  Surely right now Schenn has played better than Finger—though to his credit, Finger hasn't played much due to his injury.  Having a $3.5 million dollar defenseman as your number five or six guy doesn't make much sense either, but it could be the reality Toronto faces.

Certainly, there is still much to be decided within the next week for the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

My personal opinion, if I had to make this choice today, would be to have Luke Schenn on the Toronto Maple Leafs blue line when the season opens next Thursday in Detroit.

Schenn has improved every game, and there is no reason to stop now. 

At the very least, the Leafs could get a look at him in regular-season competition, and if worst comes to worst, send him back to Kelowna before his ten games are up, if that's what the team feels is best.


Bobby Ryan Rumours

Has it really come to this?  Are we so connected that we are now going to start reporting when teams make strong pitches for players?

In any event, a report has surfaced today that the Toronto Maple Leafs were in the running to acquire Mathieu Schneider and Bobby Ryan from the Anaheim Ducks, in exchange for a conditional first-round draft choice and two prospects.

I'm not too sure what to make of this.  Ryan is still a talented kid with lots to show.  Schneider would only be included for cap relief.  In all likelihood, the Leafs would then shop Schneider for a draft pick.

Still, there really aren't enough details to this trade to say how it would go down.  It all depends on which prospects would be going to Anaheim in return.


Former Leafs player O'Neill ends comeback bid

Former Maple Leafs player Jeff O'Neill, who was in training camp with the Carolina Hurricanes on a tryout basis, has decided to end his comeback bid, and has been released from training camp.

The decision was mutual.