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Flyers B. Schenn on the trading block and why that’s a bad idea

Nov 20, 2013, 11:36 AM EDT

Brayden Schenn, Matt Read

While the Flyers were busy taking down the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday for their fourth win in five games, TSN analyst Darren Dreger was busy stirring the rumor pot.

According to the report, the Flyers are (very) quietly shopping forward Brayden Schenn. But to get done, the deal needs to be the “right” one for general manager Paul Holmgren.

Though this report is paper thin because of its vagaries, and granted it’s impossible to judge a deal of this magnitude without knowing the return, Holmgren should take a step back.

The Flyers could benefit by staying patient with Schenn.

When he was drafted fifth overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 2009, he was a potential franchise player. When he was traded to the Flyers for Mike Richards, he was Richards 2.0. He’s even flirted with the notion of being a bust.

But Schenn really isn’t any of those things. At least not yet.

If you strip away the labels, the lofty expectations and the Flyers’ ultra-reliance on his production, he’s simply a young, talented forward and he’s progressing very nicely.

Coming off a two-goal effort in a win against the Pittsburgh Penguins last week, 22-year-old Schenn took the Flyers’ team scoring lead. He added an assist on Tuesday against the Senators to bring his season total to 13 points in 20 games.

With six points in his last five games, Schenn is on pace for 25 goals and 29 assists — good for 54 points over an 82-game span.

And while that might not seem an earth-shattering number to some, a productive 2013-14 is crucial for Schenn to reach his vast upside. Trading him would be to waste his development to this point.

Alongside Wayne Simmonds and Vinny Lecavalier, Schenn has helped the Flyers’ hottest line score seven goals and seven assists in their last five games. He is averaging 15:59 time on ice per night, with 3:02 of that coming on the power play. He is tied for fifth on the team in shots with 38.

With his role set and just the right amount of puck luck on a productive line, Schenn could be a 50-to-60 point player this season — right in line with where he should be at this stage in his career.

In other words, he is on the cusp of breaking out.

At 20-years old, Schenn earned 18 points in 54 games — an 82-game pace of 27 points. In last year’s shortened lockout season he earned 26 points — a full-season scoring pace that would have left Schenn with 45 points over 82 games. And he is on track to exceed those numbers this season.

Schenn’s development is taking a familiar road and it puts his improvement in context.

At 21, his rookie season, former Flyers captain Richards earned 34 points. In his sophomore season, 22-year-old Richards was on pace for 45 points with 14 goals and 31 assists — the exact same 82-game projection as Schenn’s sophomore campaign. Richards’ big season didn’t come until 2007-08, when he was 23, earning a whopping 75 points.

Both Jeff Carter and James van Riemsdyk are other examples of this same slow-and-steady road to production, as both players gradually improved from 20-22 until they hit their full offensive stride after their 23rd birthday.

At 22, Schenn isn’t Jamie Benn, Bobby Ryan or Logan Couture. But if he continues to improve and produce, he won’t be far behind. For the Flyers, that possibility alone should be worth the patience.

  1. Jay D - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    things seem to be clicking better and they put their top scorer’s name out there…


  2. Mike P - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Hmmmm. The “right” deal for The Flyers brass? That should be up and coming young talent like Schenn for a 36 year old off injured veteran “character guy(bruiser)” with a heyday in 1996, and then of course IMMEDIATELY sign him to a 2 year extension in the range of 4 mil a year.
    That’s sounds about right for flyers management.
    Don’t forget to include a draft pick, we don’t need those.

    God I love the flyers, like an abusive relationship. why am I such am enabler.

    • Dave - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      Don’t forget the no-trade clause in that extension

  3. Andy Schreiber - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Trade him for Bobby Ryan? Fine.

    Other than that, the Flyers had better get a boatload in return.

    I’d sooner trade Cooter than Schenn. (And I’d prefer to trade neither.)

    If only Hartnell could be traded . . . .

    • bowlingotter - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      Coots plays the hardest minutes on the team, and it’s not even close, could be a future Selke winner. There would have to be a RIDICULOUS value trade to justify letting him get away.

    • brandonphilly - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:50 AM

      It’d take 3 Schenn’s to equal the value of 1 Cooter. Swap their roles and see how they do. Cooter’s ppg would definitely surpass Schenn’s and we’d no longer have a shutdown line.

  4. igantz - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Yes, lets trade a young talented forward for a old vet that had a 30 goal season 3 seasons ago. Thats the flyers way.

  5. Capt. Obvious - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Holmgren and Amaro, Jr. should write a book together.

  6. Ivan the Smart Guy - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Flyers are actually playing okay right now.

    I think the only way this makes sense is if the team is working to trade both Schenns. Trade Braden first while the value is high, and trade Luke while they can.

    That’s trying to extract sense from it, because frankly, it’s a stupid move, and over the last three years, I haven’t seen the Flyers make a whole lot of smart ones (signing Jagr and Mason being the only two). They would just work on keeping the Schenns and letting them develop. I think the fans have more patience for the young players with potential than they do for inept management.

    • Ivan the not-so-Smart Guy - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      Just realized I spelled Brayden’s name wrong. My bad.

  7. Charliemanuelsteeth - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    If some guy on Twitter told you to jump of a bridge, would you? Let’s relax, enjoy the play on the ice and worry about these “rumors” as they materialize. But for gods sake, trade him. We don’t need schenn, bobrovsky, lupal, sharp, JVR, Richards or carter. We are doing just fine. Ugh

  8. Lol - Nov 20, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    I honestly don’t get all the Holmgren hate. In my opinion, his trades have all been pretty phenomenal. (That’s trades, not contract extensions or free agent signings).

    The only trade you can really fault him for at this point was JVR for L. Schenn, but I don’t even know if that one won’t eventually work out in the Flyers favor.

    I’m confident that if Homer does deal B. Schenn, which is a big if since this is a rumor, the results would knock your socks off.

    That said, if there was a rumor that he was trading Couts, I’d be freaking out and saying Homer sucks with the rest of you.

    • Simmonds17 - Nov 20, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      Thank you LOL, I also think Holmgren gets way too much heat for his moves. I can see people saying the Streit and Lecavalier contracts are too long, but the salaries are about market value and maybe that’s what it took to get them here. Would people rather not have Vinny? (Just because he’s “old”?)

      I think the Carter and Richards deals were master strokes, and getting Steve Mason has worked out brilliantly too. Where are all the people who lambasted the Bobrovsky trade AFTER Bob won the Vezina? Are they going in turn to praise Homer for getting Mason, who is young and athletic and appears to just have needed a change of scenery, for very little?

      I don’t want them to trade Brayden Schenn. But it’s very possible they’re looking at trade possibilities that would make sense overall for the team. The Schenn brothers, Emery and Nick Cousins for Shea Weber perhaps? Nashville has to be thinking about unloading that contract.

    • BenE. - Nov 20, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      Holmgren definitely gets too much heat. He has two bad moves (three if I’m being biased against Talbot): the Streit and Timonen signings. Even the Hartnell extension I can understand even though I think Hartnell shouldn’t have gotten a NTC.

  9. t800m101 - Nov 22, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    They should trade Gustafsson and Raffl for a bag of practice pucks.

    • Steve Dore - Nov 22, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      That doesn’t make sense. They can just buy pucks at the store. And they are not that expensive. Maybe they can find a Black Friday sale. (With all them pucks, that would really be a BLACK Friday! ;) ) Sending them down to the Phantoms would make more sense.

      Plus, I don’t think there is another team sitting around thinking, “Heck, I don’t know what I am going to do with all these pucks. Maybe I can get a 7th defenceman or a 4th line forward.” Besides, I think if an NHL franchise had a bunch of extra pucks, they could donate them to some local kids teams and stuff. That would be better. Pay it forward, and all that.

      See, that’s the problem with you armchair GM’s. You never consider that the other team needs to accept the trade.

      • macjacmccoy - Nov 25, 2013 at 9:22 AM

        Gustafsson is one of our better defensmen in my opinion . I would rather see him play before Timonen, Streit, Shenn, Meszaros, Gill, Manning, or Lauridsen.

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