Is Schenn the bait for van Riemsdyk?

Maple Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn during a practice at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, Ont.,...

Maple Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn during a practice at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, Ont., Jan. 12, 2012. (ERNEST DOROSZUK/QMI Agency)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:25 AM ET

TORONTO - Could Maple Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn soon be joining his little brother Brayden in the black and orange of the Philadelphia Flyers? Trade speculation will tell you that it is a possibility.

But Schenn, whose name has come up in trade rumours in the past, shrugged off the idea on Thursday.

Im happy being here in Toronto, Schenn said. Theyre just rumours and it doesnt really mean much to me.

Leafs general manager Brian Burke has said publicly hes ready to deal, provided the trade improves the Leafs. Thats a given. Burke wouldnt make a trade otherwise.

The player being mentioned that could interest him is Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk, who had 11 goals and 11 assists in 36 games prior to Thursday. Just 22, van Riemsdyk has plenty of upside, and has played in 32 Stanley Cup playoff games. Burke wants to get bigger at forward van Riemsdyk is 6-feet-3 and 200 pounds and add players who have post-season experience.

Schenn has not yet lived up to the five-year, $18-million US contract he signed in September. That could still happen. But how patient will Burke be?

Schenn is averaging 16 minutes 35 seconds of ice time a game, a substantial drop from the 22 minutes 22 seconds he averaged in 2010-11.

Next season, a six-year deal that will count $4.25-million US against the salary cap annually will kick in for van Riemsdyk.

Adding to the gossip is that Flyers director of player development Don Luce has been attending Leafs games with regularity.


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