Luke Schenn will take Saskatchewan over Tampa, thanks.
The Maple Leafs defenceman needs to worry only about visiting his home province this summer, and not house-hunting in Florida, now that he has been assured by general manager Brian Burke that a trade to the Tampa Bay Lightning is not happening.
"He called me to say the rumours are not true, and I was happy to hear that," Schenn said. "I want to spend a long time here and I love it here. He said that I'm a part of things moving forward in Toronto. That's all I needed to hear."
On Tuesday, it became public knowledge that the Lightning would send the second pick overall in the NHL entry draft next month to Toronto if Burke were willing to cough up Schenn, defenceman Tomas Kaberle and the seventh pick overall. Burke on Tuesday told Sun Media the idea was "absurd," a position he reaffirmed yesterday during a couple of radio interviews.
Schenn, 19, became a stable part of the Leafs defence corps as a rookie last season, making it clear he should serve as a valuable cornerstone for the foreseeable future. Schenn demonstrated a veteran's poise in 70 games with the Leafs and then was added to Canada's roster for the world championship in Switzerland, though he spent most of the tournament watching.
One of his teammates at the worlds was Lightning centre Steve Stamkos, and the two were together again yesterday at a Nike training event in Toronto, along with Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano of the Edmonton Oilers and Canadian women's team members Jayna Hefford and Jennifer Botterill.
It didn't help Schenn's nerves that Stamkos called him on Tuesday to talk about the trade speculation.
"Steve called me and said he just heard on the radio that I was coming to Tampa Bay and his general manager (Brian Lawton) called to ask what type of guy I was," Schenn said. "Then Brian called me literally two minutes later."
Stamkos viewed Schenn as one that got away.
"I would love to play with the Human Eraser," Stamkos said with a laugh. "I joked that I had a room available in Tampa that has his name on it.
"If I was a betting man, I would bet he would stay in Toronto. He is a guy you really want to build your team around."
As for his lack of ice time at the worlds, where Canada took silver when it lost to Russia in the final, Schenn was not overly disappointed.
"You're still part of it, and just to be around those guys, you learn," Schenn said. "If you had told me at the beginning of the year that I would be in the world championship and the NHL, I wouldn't have believed it."