When the Flyers traded Mike Richards to the LA Kings in exchange for Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn, they really were rolling the dice. They knew Simmonds has the potential to net in 20 goals and be effective on the PP as well as play very physically and protect his team mates, but with Schenn it was a gamble.
Scouts described Schenn as the best prospect in and the best hockey player who currently "wasn't'" playing in the NHL. Schenn, a 5th overall draft pick, came to the Flyers with high hopes. The Flyers obviously expected a lot from the rookie center because they've lost four major goal scorers over the summer to trades and free agency. Since then, Schenn's road to the NHL has been an unpaved one. First Schenn was loaned to the NHL as a strategic move to shed Schenn’s salary as his contract called for 3mil if he played all 82 games. Then Schenn get's called up ends up with zero points and a negative -6 rating before breaking his foot. Schenn returns to the AHL following his recovery and shines with 6 goals and 5 assists in just 6 games. Schenn is recalled to the Flyers following the waiving of Andreas Nodl and again struggles. He still doesn't have a point as a Flyer and got drilled in the Ducks game. Schenn seemed to be hurt but played through it. Schenn played the next against the Coyotes and again took a hit, from Raffi Tores. It was discovered that Schenn didn't make the trip to Buffalo and GM Paul Holmgrim announced that Schenn is Day-to-Day with an "upper body injury." However, I've learned via Toronto Radio which featured Schenn's father who announced that Schenn had a concussion. Three Days later, Holmgrim announced that Schenn is indeed out with a concussion. So oone has to ask, what's his trade value?
Don't get me wrong, Schenn is still a top prospect, but now, with a broken foot, a concussion a minus-7 in the NHL with no Points with the Flyers, he's become very injury prone in his early NHL career. I want to see what Schenn can do in the NHL and what he can bring to the Flyers. However, with the spurt of Claude Giroux this season, Briere playing well and Rookie Sean Couturier developing well as a third line center, is Schenn now expendable? Remember, the Flyers still have Blair Betts on their roster. (Betts who's Faceoff % is better than any Flyer Center) can still be brought back a forth line. Keeping Betts and Schenn just adds depth. So my question is what's his trade value? Should the Flyers trade him for someone or should they wait and hope he turns out to be the Player they want him to be? I think the Flyers should play him a winger and see what he can do. I think if you had a healthy Schenn on a line with Couturier and Voracek, they would produce some points.
If you could ask another question if Schenn has a concussion, what does this do for the Flyers? It's obvious the Flyers can survive without him. He really hasn't done anything when he's in the line-up. The Flyers depth has been surprising, with Harry Z, and Zac Rinaldo, the Flyers have plenty of forwards to bring up in case of injuries. However, since the beginning of the season, nobody has been filling in for Schenn. It's Schenn who's trying to crack the line-up and so far he's only been there because of injury to the major players. It's also obvious that Schenn has received all he's going to get out of the AHL, just like Sean Couturier got all he was going to get out of juniors. Schenn has torn up the AHL but can't seem to keep the flame lit in the NHL. Will keeping him in the AHL benefit him more than it will benefit the Flyers? Remember when the Flyers were in sync with their lineup in 2010; it took awhile before Ville Leino was able to get in the line-up for good. Who knows what's really bother Schenn and why he looks great on AHL ice but lost on NHL ice, but if he doesn't figure it out soon, the Flyers may take the opportunity to trade him before he becomes another Philly bust.
I'll be writing more this week about the NHL and concussions.
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