Schenn-Shank Redemption: Can Luke Schenn Redeem Himself In Toronto

Steve McSween@dansallowsSenior Analyst IDecember 15, 2009

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 12: Luke Schenn #2 of the Toronto Maple Leafs looks on during a break in NHL game action against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on October 12, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

It is said to be the toughest positions in hockey to step into the NHL as a 20-year-old outta the ranks of junior hockey, let alone an 18-year-old.

Yet Luke Schenn made the transition into the NHL last season smoother than a Luther Vandross album.

While other young defenceman like Drew Doughty struggled at times during last season, Schenn excelled at every area of his game playing upwards of 26 minutes per game on any given night.

This season Schenn has seen his ice time drop considerably and now has found himself on the outside looking in, as Ron Wilson has made his young defenceman a healthy scratch the last few games.

Though this may just be a sophomore jinx that numerous hockey players go through after exceeding expectations as a rookie, Brian Burke's Leafs now find themselves in a bit of a situation due to their recent surge putting them within reach of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

With a slew of NHL caliber defenceman at Burke's disposal, and still in need of another top six forward, the Leafs now face the decision of moving their former phenom or finding a place for him on the roster so that he may have yet another opportunity to redeem himself.

The situation is about as messy as a Kanye West acceptance speech at the Grammy's.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

The Leafs could send Schenn down to their AHL affiliate (the Marlies), for some seasoning, but that would eat up a year of his contract.

Though as the ship keeps rolling and the team keeps winning, inserting Schenn back into the lineup makes about as much sense as Saturday Night Live asking Steven Seagal to be their guest host—it doesn't make them any better.

Which brings us to the often brash Brian Burke, who is never afraid to speak his mind and make a bold move in order to improve his club.

If Burke does indeed shop Schenn, one would have to think he would be very marketable despite his struggles so far this season, and a top three forward in return wouldn't be out of the question.

Though that decision may be tougher than arguing who was the better singer for Van Halen.

That being said he doesn't do the team any good sitting in the press box.

There is little doubt in my mind that Luke Schenn can redeem his NHL career, as his talents and size are something to behold, but I am not to sure if he can do it in Toronto.

After all, any of the Leafs nine blueliners are more than capable of playing on any given night.

For a team that now sits just two points out of the last playoff spot in the East, the move may just be simply a matter of time.

And for Luke Schenn, who has spent more time in the penalty and press box of late than on the ice, a move might just be his best chance at redemption.