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The Toronto Maple Leafs welcomed back an old friend into the fold earlier this month with the acquisition of defenseman Luke Schenn from the Vancouver Canucks. As you may remember, Schenn was Toronto's 1st round selection (6th overall) in the 2008 NHL Draft, and he played the first several years of his career wearing the Maple Leaf crest before being traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2012 that sent forward James van Riemsdyk the other way.
Schenn, who also went on to play for a handful of teams including the Tampa Bay Lightning with whom he won back to back Stanley Cup titles, admitted that he'd always been thinking about a potential return to the Leafs.
“I’ve often thought about getting the chance to come back, not thinking it would actually be a reality,” said Schenn. “But it’s definitely crossed my mind a couple of times when you’re going through waivers or free agency. You’re always hoping that maybe the Leafs would give me a second chance."
“It never worked out. Maybe the timing wasn’t right. And now I do feel that the timing obviously is right, and I feel more prepared and ready for this opportunity.”
Schenn made his return to the home ice in Toronto during tonight's game against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes, and needless to say, he was excited for the opportunity.
“It’s going to be … I don’t know … I can’t even put it in words,” said Schenn before tonight's game. “It’s going to be crazy. I just think of all the memories, coming up through that tunnel from the Leafs room into the home arena. Crazy. Obviously unbelievable fans. And I can’t really describe it. I don’t really know what it’s going to be like. But put it this way, I’m fired up for it.”
“My career definitely hasn’t been a straight arrow to the top,” he continued. “It hasn’t been easy or anything like that. But every experience, every up and down, I’ve been grateful for it because it’s led me to where I am today. I’m thankful for every opportunity I’ve gotten, even though some of them haven’t been easy in the moment.”
A veteran of 920 career games, Schenn has scored 41 goals with 149 career assists.