BET À DAY
TORONTO | Luke Schenn has won the Stanley Cup twice, both times with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020 and 2021. He will reconnect with his former teammates in the first round of the playoffs, but in the rival camp.
For Schenn, it's not just the symbolism of facing the Lightning in the first round of the playoffs. There is also the fact of having his first experience of spring hockey in the uniform of the Maple Leafs.
“I guess we can say “better late than never”. I have traveled a long road. I don't think anyone could have predicted in my first season with the Maple Leafs in 2008 that I was to make my playoff debut with the Leafs in 2023!”
Maples first-round pick Leafs (5th overall) in the 2008 draft, Schenn played his first four NHL seasons in Toronto (2008-09 to 2011-12).
In June 2012, the Leafs traded Schenn to the Philadelphia Flyers for winger James van Riemsdyk.
After nearly four seasons in Philadelphia, Schenn has traveled extensively making stops in Los Angeles, Arizona, Vancouver, Anaheim, Tampa Bay, Vancouver again and now Toronto.
Kyle Dubas acquired the veteran defenseman on February 28 in a deal with the Canucks for a 2023 3rd round pick.
For the next few days, Schenn has no intention of socializing with his former Lightning teammates.
“On our last trip to Tampa late in the season, I congratulated Stamkos on their 1000th game in the NHL, he mentioned. But for this series, I turned off my cell phone. I've said it before, but when you win with a team, you make friends for the rest of your life. This is my case with the Lightning. I'm now playing for the Leafs and I want to help my team.”
Steven Stamkos, the top-ranked 2008 draft pick, also spoke about Schenn ahead of this series.
“Luke is a very good friend, we have good memories together. I played the World Juniors with him, I won the Stanley Cup twice with him. He is very physical. You want a player like him at this time of year. But he is also a good teammate. I don't think I'll exchange too many messages with him, but there's always great respect between us.”