February 9, 2011
Beauchemin will be missed
By ROB LONGLEY and TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency
TORONTO - When Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn arrived at the Mastercard Centre on Wednesday morning, he figured something was up.
Practice was postponed and later cancelled and all the talk around the dressing room was who was going to be traded.
“Everyone was guessing who it was going to be, but we knew something was up,” Schenn said of the reaction prior to hearing Francois Beauchemin was being moved to Anaheim. “Personally, you are just hoping it isn’t yourself. It was a bit of a weird feeling.”
Schenn said Beauchemin will be missed for his leadership and the ice time he provided.
“Other guys are going to have to step up for sure,” Schenn said. “He’s a guy who was getting 25 minutes a night on average and playing on (the power play and penalty kill.) He won’t be easy to replace.”
If Tim Brent tells you what Joffrey Lupul puts on his toast or when he likes to hit the sack, Brent knows what he is talking about.
The two roomed together in Cincinnati during the NHL lockout in the 2004-05 season, playing for the Anaheim Ducks’ American Hockey League team.
“I know he is a solid guy,” Brent said. “He’ll be a lot of fun and he will fit right in with the young group we have.”
Lupul’s shot should help endear him to his new Leafs teammates.
“He has probably one of the best shots I have seen,” Brent said. “Very quick release. He has a similar shot to (Phil) Kessel.”
Like he was in Toronto, the Ducks are hoping Beauchemin will be a positive influence on the team’s young defence as they make a push for the playoffs.
“He was high up on that list again because of our familiarity with him,” Ducks general manager Bob Murray said. “We know the character. Beauch has great character and he’ll come in and handle being with those kids like he’s done with Schenn in Toronto.”
Likewise, Murrary believes the Leafs will like what they get in their end of the bargain.
“I’m not speaking for them, but I think they get bigger up front and this is good for them,” Murray said, referring to Lupul. “They wanted that type of player. They get a young defenceman. Let’s face it, we gave them a good, young prospect in (Jake Gardiner).
“Believe me, the only reason we would do that is we feel we’re very deep in that position of young prospects on defence.”
That is the only reason.
New Jersey Devils defenceman Anton Volchenkov acknowledged on Wednesday that he was in the wrong, but maintained he did not try to elbow the Carolina Hurricanes’ Zach Boychuk in the head during a game on Tuesday.
Volchenkov was suspended for three games by the NHL, meaning he will not play against the Leafs, and will forfeit $68,548.38 US in salary.
“I’ll miss three games and it’s tough,” Volchenkov told The Record (Bergen, N.J.). “But, if you’ve got rules, you got rules. At the same time, I didn’t really try to hit him, but it was a situation if you see the play it’s not really right.”
Leafs GM Brian Burke on whether Tomas Kaberle will lift his no-trade clause. “You can ask Tomas Kaberle if you want. I don’t think anyone is talking about Tomas’ situation and I don’t intend to.”