Rangy forward James van Riemsdyk has been on the block in Philadelphia for some time. Similarly, trade rumors have dogged stay-at-home defenseman Luke Schenn in Toronto for months.
So it is only natural that the Leafs and Flyers would swap those players.
This trade made Toronto bigger up front and gave the Flyers additional blue line protection in the wake of Chris Pronger’s career-threatening concussion.
How will the Maple Leafs deploy van Riemsdyk?
“Where he plays and with whom he plays is up to the coach,” Leafs general manager Brian Burke told reporters during a conference call. “He has played a fair amount of centre in his career; he was a center until he turned pro. I envision him mostly on the wall, but if Randy (Carlyle) wants to try him in the middle, that’s fine, too. From my perspective, we’re not big enough up front and this is a guy - not that he plays huge, he’s not a big banger - but he’s a big body with skill and those people are hard to eliminate.
“I envision him being in the top six and that means on one of the power play units. I know he played point on the power play before so that will be up to the coaching staff. But this is a guy we think can help us a lot.”
Schenn, meanwhile, is reunited with his brother Brayden -- a center on the Flyers squad.
“We're pretty close,” Schenn told reporters in a conference call. “It's surreal right now. It's hard to describe how cool this is.”