By: Trent Leith / March 22, 2022
One of the names that were swirling around in rumours at the trade deadline on Monday was Luke Schenn. Reports were that both the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs were interested in the veteran defender. However, the Canucks ended up deciding not to sell and to hold on to the 32-year-old Saskatoon native.
Heading into the deadline the former top-five draft pick’s future with Vancouver was uncertain.
“I love it here.” he said on the eve of the deadline “It’s a privilege to be in this league, it’s an honour to be a part of the Canucks organization and play for this city and fanbase,”
Schenn has played most of his nights on Quinn Hughes’ pairing serving as a stay-at-home, responsible partner for Quinn to rely on when he’s off gallivanting in the offensive end.
“I think he just compliments me really well. He’s really good in the d-zone, he’s strong, he keeps me focused in that end.” Quinn told the media in December.
Shenn is not a high-skill player, and he’s not known for his speed either, but is having a very strong year playing in the top four and has been known to be the Canuck to throw the biggest hit on a given night.
Schenn has a somewhat surprising 13 points in 48 games this season for the Canucks. He leads the team with 199 hits and is third in blocked shots with 70 to this point in the year. While he is averaging 17 minutes a night, he is a unique fit with Hughes, and if it weren’t for that fit, he would likely be a sixth or seventh defender on the team.
Patrik Allvin, the new Canucks General Manager, said on Monday post-deadline “I have a lot of respect for Luke Schenn as a player, and more as a person, and what he means to this club off the ice in terms of being a winner, the culture, the commitment he has to be a pro every day,”
It’s clear that the GM thinks highly of Schenn “For me, it’s extremely important for this young group to have a guy like Luke Schenn here,” Allvin continued.
In the last two seasons, Schenn found himself playing a depth role in Tampa, playing 25 and 38 games respectively in his two seasons but in the process, he became beloved in his locker room for his attitude. Schenn would go on to win back-to-back Stanley Cups with that group before his triumphant return to Vancouver.
Schenn is on a bargain bin deal coming in at only $850K for this season and next, and considering he is filling out a top-four role, it’s hard to be upset at that evaluation. His value to the Canucks is greater than his value to the trade market, and that was evidently how this management group felt as well, as the Canucks ended up keeping the hulking blueliner.
In a perfect world, Quinn Hughes would have a better partner than a 32-year-old depth defender, but that’s not a world the Canucks find themselves in.
While the Canucks may have been able to get a mid-round pick for The Schenn Daddy if they opted to move him, ultimately he was seen as far too valuable to this club here and now, on his current contract, compared to any offers that may have come in. Just like Boeser, Miller and Garland, there is still time to make a final decision on Schenn’s long-term fate with the club, and there is always the next deadline to trade him for an asset. But for now, he will remain a Vancouver Canuck, until the off-season at least.