November 07, 2008

Schenn-d him down, and FREE CARLO...

Fourteen games into the season, the Toronto Maple Leafs have allowed a league-worst 51 goals against. Half the league's 30 teams have allowed 35 goals or less. And we still can't kill a penalty. Is this really the environment we want Luke Schenn developing in?


Don't get me wrong, for a 19-year-old kid I think Schenn has played great. He's got all the makings of a great shutdown defenceman in the NHL. I love the fact that he loves to play the body and that he's quicker than he looks on his skates.

At the same time, he hasn't blown my mind. He hasn't left me dumbfounded. I know, a part of that is the position and style of game he plays. But, well, still. I'm left thinking that another year of junior hockey - four full years like, say, Dion Phaneuf - cannot hurt him.

Once again, before you get out the pitchforks, I dig the Schenn. But we've got to send him back to junior hockey. For the good of humanity. He doesn't need to be here right now. He can play 25 minutes a game down in Kelowna, run shit, and dominate at the World Juniors. Let Ron Wilson deal with the rest of our chumps on defence because God knows they could use some work, especially on special teams. Schenn can join us next season. Wilson and the rest of the coaching staff ain't going anywhere. They can impart their wisdom on Luke next season.

Free Carlo!

I heart Schenn, but another reason he doesn't need to be here right now is because we've got two young defenceman who can play, and who need the playing time, sitting in the press box every night. One of them happens to be Carlo Colaiacovo, and he needs to be emancipated.

I refuse to give up on Carlo Colaiacovo. Not yet. He's a 2001 draft pick with a ton of potential, and I'm just not ready to let go. We showed Antropov all the patience in the world, and he's finally come through. We need to do the same with Carlo. A  solid, top-three defenceman exists somewhere inside him. 

Carlo's finally healthy and, much to the pain of my soul, he's a healthy scratch. Injuries have just fucked with him and, now that he's finally healthy, it pains me to see him sitting on the sidelines along with another of my man crushes, Anton Stralman.

I mean, I love Jonas Frogren and his aggressive, hitting-oriented style, and Mike Van Ryn has done nothing but impress since he donned the blue and white, but who's got more of a future with the Leafs going forward? The youngsters, Colaiacovo and Stralman, n'est pas? Don't they? I would say so. And in a rebuilding and experience-building season, why aren't they playing every night? Why can't Schenn - sent down to work on his game and continue to develop - Colaiacovo, and Stralman be the anchors of our defence core two or three years down the road, with Kaberle and Van Ryn, or Kubina, providing veteran presence?

Free Carlo, Cliff Fletcher. His destiny awaits.

13 comments:

Johnny G said...

I thought the same thing at the 10 game mark. Schenn has done more then enough to earn him a spot on the roster at the NHL Level but the Leafs are the Leafs this year and are going to take some lumps.

It can't be good for an 18 year old Psyche of a Dman to see so many goals go into the net.

blurr1974 said...

Three things: Schenn is not going anywhere. Wilson and Fletcher have already decided his game has progressed beyond junior level coaching. That's not to say it would be detrimental, but that it would not be beneficial for him. If he was going anywhere, it would have been by the ten game mark. If there was any concern about his psyche, consistency or overall level of play, it would have come up before now.

Second, chances are, actually, not chances,but with a fair amount of certainty, Fletcher is going to trade one of our d-men. Given the mantra of youth, I'd say it's Kaberle or Kubina who are the most likely to be on their way out at some point this season.

Lastly, you say that again, and it's a stabbin'... =) (kidding!)

Back in Black said...

I'm with you. I do not understand what the rush is with this kid. And any nonsense about him not being able to learn anything in junior, despite ample evidence of exactly that all through the NHL, is just that: arrogant nonsense.

Tex said...

I'm with you... on the Carlo thing, not the Schenn move. We all know it takes longer to develop NHL-caliber Dmen, and Carlo is still very much a work in progress, but with lots and lots of talent. I think we can get him the ice time he needs by moving another one of the bodies out of the way (@blurr - Kubina or Kaberle could probably net us a pretty good haul in the trade market), while at the same time keeping Schenn around. I think that playing this whole season with the big club, Schenn will develop much more and can start to be a leader on this squad from a very early point next season (if he isn't considered a leader already!).

kushnir said...

As deep as the 2001 draft may have been, the leafs still drafted Karl Pilar. (wouldn't drafting Cammalleri, a hometown kid, have been cool?)

Im not saying Carlo is a bust, because i do think the potential is there, im just saying these are the leafs were talking about...


PS. Antropov is still a bum. Have You ever seen something so big take and give less hits? who does he think he is, Gretzky?

On The Fence Sports said...

I agree, I am a little disappointed in the playing time of Carlo. It doesn't make sense since the Leafs are rebuilding and I have always thought and was under the impression Carlo was going to be a future staple in the Leafs lineup. Now that his injuries are out of the way, he constantly sits up in the luxury boxes.

If the Leafs are so off on him, they should just play him and show him off for other teams and make a trade but by sitting his ass down, they are just wasting a capable NHL player.

Unless there is something else that isn't being reported.

puckbuddy said...

I think one must ask himself a few questions regarding Schenn and Carlo. First off do you think a coach in the Jrs is better teacher than Wilson is? And second, if you have to pick either Schenn or Carlo for you only defenseman who would it be?

On The Fence Sports said...

puckbuddy...

It is hard to compare coaches in the minors with coaches in the big leagues. Some coaches are better working with younger players than others. It is just like teachers, some can teach kindergarten but others can't. But it doesn't mean one is a better coach or teacher.

But from what I hear/read, Wilson is supposedly a very good coach with young players. Just from looking at his past, coaching the Ducks (93-97) and the Sharks (02-08).

From my previous post, if they don't want him, play him and showcase him. His contract is nothing and I would think other teams in the NHL would have interest in a young defenceman.

fantasybaseballmacbookpro said...

Just read something about the Jays speaking with Giambi, what would you think about him being in the Jays lineup?

eyebleaf said...

@ Johnny: Totally agree. Fishing pucks out of your net is not fun. And the Leafs look like they'll be doing a lot of it.

@ Blurr: It's not that I'm overly concerned about Schenn's play. Not at all. Like I said, he's got all the makings of a stud. I just can't buy the argument that another year of junior can't help him. If Phaneuf went through four full years, Schenn should as well. And I still hope Kabby and Kubby both stay.

@ Back in Black: Thanks for your comment. While I'm not a big fan of the evidence angle, it does speak volumes. 18 year old's who make the jump are very, very rare. That's not to say Schenn can't do it, but why rush him?

@ Tex: If Carlo is in a work-in-progress, shouldn't Schenn be more of a work-in-progress? I mean, Carlo has played more games at the NHL level, against men. Schenn is coming from a boys league. Schenn will develop in the NHL, but I just don't see the rush. I'm crazy torn on him.

@ Kushnir: My friend, looking back on Maple Leafs draft results will get you nowhere. Trust me. And I would have to respectfully disagree with you on Antropov. He's hype. I waited so long for him to develop, and I'm enjoying every second of it now.

@ On the fence: I think this is your first time commenting so, thank you. And I totally agree with you. I was under the assumption that Carlo was a big part of our defence going forward. That's how he was always sold to us. And now he's a healthy scratch? It doesn't make sense.

@ puckbuddy: To me, it's not really about the coaching. Schenn knows his abilities already. It's important for him to learn the NHL game and obviously Wilson is a better coach, but again, another year of dominating junior hockey cannot hurt him. As for your question about who I want between Schenn and Carlo, I want them both. I want a defence core that includes the two of them.

@ On the fence: I don't even want to talk about trading Carlo. I hope it doesn't happen.

@ Fantasy: Giambi in a Jays uni? Stay tuned, a post is coming down the pipe.

puckbuddy said...

Eye when I asked about picking either or, its was like if you only had to have one of them which is the one you would pick.

As for trading Carlo, I'm getting a feeling that they might not go that way unless he was the deal breaker.

eyebleaf said...

Puck, I guess I'd have to pick Schenn, right? I mean, he's got more upside now that Carlo's career has kind of been stuck in neutral for so long...

I heard the Leafs offered the Blues Carlo for a 2nd round draft pick. I'm not sure how reliable that information is, frankly I think it's just a rumour, but I wouldn't be happy with a deal like that. I'd rather keep Carlo.

JH29 said...

The Leafs are surprising everybody this season. Majority of the people thought they would be at the bottom of the league, but this team is raising eyebrows.
I think this success is the worst thing for the Leafs. THey will be a crappy team in the league for years to come. my thoughts. http://jib-sports-culture.blogspot.com/2008/11/problems-leafs-will-face.html