After a few weeks of "Will they? Won't they?" the Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that rookie defenseman Luke Schenn will remain with the team for the "foreseeable future."
It's a move that certainly doesn't surprise anyone. Schenn leads all NHL rookies in ice-time and hasn't looked out of place so far in this young season on the Maple Leafs' back end.
Head coach Ron Wilson said this morning following practice that he liked the defensive group that was on the ice for Saturday's big win over the Senators. The Leafs' defense held the Senators in check, and made their big three look average and borderline invisible in the 3-2 win.
I know there will be people against this move, but I stand firm that the Maple Leafs are making the right moves.
Schenn has a late 1989 birthday, meaning he has already played a ton of WHL games. He has already played three full years in the Western Hockey League, and many people were beginning to wonder exactly how much more he could learn in the "dub" without simply spinning his wheels.
I also don't agree with the argument that a tough season here could ruin his mentality. I think Luke has shown he is strong mentally and is fully prepared to handle the losses and tough games that come with life in the NHL. In fact, you could argue they will only make him tougher and hungrier.
Besides, everyone wants Luke Schenn to be a future captain of this franchise. Well, I think your captain has to go through some adversity in order to know what it takes to win. And, in order to be looked up to by other players, he will need the knowledge of the experiences he has had.
It's like Ron Wilson said about this rebuild at the beginning of the season: There is no reason to hide the younger players. The only way you learn is by making mistakes.
So it looks like we will see a lot of Kaberle with Kubina, Schenn with Finger, and Van Ryn with Stralman/Frogren.
This means it would appear Ian White and Carlo Colaiacovo are the odd men out.
According to some, the Maple Leafs believe that Ian White, a smooth skating but undersized defenseman, is the player that will net them a potential scoring forward. However, Colaiacovo will be peddled to obtain a draft pick.