With trade rumours swirling around defenceman Luke Schenn, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke met with the media on Friday in Buffalo to dispel the notion he had put the youngster on the block.
The rumoured deal making the rounds among reputable sources this week centred on the Leafs potentially shipping the 22-year-old Schenn as part of a package to the Philadelphia Flyers for forward James Van Riemsdyk.
Burke, however, told Schenn prior to the Leafs game against the Sabres that the team had not offered him as part of a trade.
“I told Luke it’s not a guarantee that he wouldn’t be traded if something materializes, but we’re not in trade discussions with any team about him right now,” Burke said. “We haven’t offered him to anybody. I don’t know where the rumours started. I told him that’s not happening.”
The Leafs GM did acknowledge that his phone has been ringing a lot of late. Burke has made significant deals in late January or early February the past two seasons and has made noise that he is poised to do so again.
The Leafs are in the market for a forward with size, meaning Van Riemsdyk would fit the bill.
“We’re getting a lot of calls and we’re listening,” Burke said. “But that’s very different than offering a player. Fielding a phone call on a player is very different than making a phone call on a player.”
Burke added that things can move quickly when it comes to a deal.
“That’s the danger when you say right now nothing’s close,” he said. “That can change with a phone call. That can change in 24 hours.”
In his fourth season with the Leafs, Schenn was drafted by Toronto fifth overall in 2008. A strictly stay-at-home defenceman, he has struggled at times this season and has averaged fewer than 17 minutes played a game -- down from more than 22 last season.
Schenn’s younger brother, Brayden, is a rookie with the Flyers, fueling speculation that he wouldn't mind a move to Philadelphia.