Luke Schenn explains why it was so important for him to return to the Toronto Maple Leafs

Published March 15, 2023 at 1:18 PM

It's been a long road for Luke Schenn. Drafted in the first round of the 2008 NHL draft, the Saskatoon native was selected with the 5th overall pick and expected by some to become a franchise defenceman. Unfortunately, he was rushed into the NHL without the proper time to develop. He was also told he needed to get bigger and stronger at a time when the league was trending towards smaller, faster players. Eventually, he was traded to the Flyers for James Van Reimsdyk in the summer of 2012.

Now, over a decade later, Schenn is back in the blue and white. After being out of the lineup to welcome his new daughter, Romee Grace, into the world, Schenn finally returned to Toronto yesterday for the first time since the trade. He won't play tonight, as coach Sheldon Keefe wants to get him into a full practice before slotting him into the lineup.

Schenn seemed overjoyed when he found out he had been traded back to the place where his NHL journey began. Asked about being back, following his first home skate in his second go-around as a member of the team, Schenn made it abundantly clear that this is where he wants to be.

"Just walking into this building, this dressing room (for the first time in a decade), it's surreal. Going through it all as a young guy ... you appreciate what it means to play in Toronto, not to the extent I do now. It comes with age and maturity, ups and downs."

Obviously, Schenn appreciated the Leafs giving him ample time off for the birth of his daughter. The team also rented ice for him in Vancouver so he could continue skating while he waited to re-join them.

"Not to disrespect other (organizations), but this is as good as it gets, of how they treat players, the passionate fan base. I've often thought if I'd ever get the chance to come back, through waivers, free agency. You're always hoping. Now I do feel the time is right."

Funny enough, when Schenn did return to Toronto after 11 years, he was greeted by a familiar face.

We will hope to see "The Human Eraser" back in the Leafs lineup for Friday's matchup against Carolina against, staring down the ice at another former Leaf in Frederik Andersen. It remains to be seen who will come out of the lineup when Schenn gets in, but his placement on the Leafs' top penalty kill unit at morning skate today may suggest that it could be Justin Holl watching from the press box.

March 15   |   562 answers
Luke Schenn explains why it was so important for him to return to the Toronto Maple Leafs

Who should come out of the lineup to allow Schenn to play on Friday?

Liljegren468.2 %
Holl44479 %
Gustafsson6812.1 %
Giordano40.7 %
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