Canucks’ Luke Schenn – His Comments, His Story
February 21, 2019
Luke Schenn joined the Canucks lineup last week to help fill out a roster plagued by a spate of injuries in recent weeks.
“I’m not exactly sure on when I’ll get the opportunity, but there’s no question that I’m confident and ready,” the 29-year-old defenceman said Wednesday.
“It’s been a crazy year,” Schenn said.
“I’ve tried to make some changes here in the last couple of months,” Schenn said. “For right now, I’m confident, feel great and I’ve played a lot of hockey in the last couple of months.”
February 25, 2019
Schenn gets in groove
“There were things I had to go through and getting sent to the minors this late in my career and I’m hoping it was the best thing for me,” he said. “A lot of friends and family keep you going in situations like this. I really wanted to give it one more chance and work my way back and luckily Vancouver gave me an opportunity. It’s one game and it felt good to get the first one out of the way.”
March 17, 2019
Schenn rolls with his role:
“You don’t ask questions,” said the 29-year-old. “When you get in the lineup, you just try to play to the best of your capability. Being in the position I have been this year, I don’t take anything for granted. I just want to enjoy it and have fun.”
“When you’re a young guy, you can be naive to the way things can be. When you get older you learn to appreciate them a lot more, knowing they’re not going to be there forever.”
“But you have to play to your strengths and that’s part of it: Taking hits, making hits, blocking shots. Maybe it’s not as recognized as being on the scoresheet every night, but you needs guys like Tanny to win games.”
March 21, 2019
As a veteran defenceman:
“I’ve never been on a team or heard of a team that’s just thrown in the towel,” veteran Canuck Luke Schenn, one of four defencemen on a patchwork blueline who may not be here next season, said after the game. “You’re always trying to prove something, whether it’s young guys trying to improve. . . or older guys fighting for contracts. At the end of the day, winning is way more fun. Guys can’t stand losing.”
“I think it shows that we don’t give up,” winger Brock Boeser said after his 24th goal of the season extended a personal scoring streak to eight games. “People have counted us out and we’ve come back and won games. I think it shows how bad our team does want to win, and wants to show up every night and play good hockey. That’s the culture we want to build.”
“I remember last year in Arizona, we had a pretty good second half,” Schenn said. “All the young guys played a lot better and a lot of veteran guys were still there, and I think they’ve had a lot better year (this season) because of it. Wins are wins and you want to keep building.
“Of course, next year is a new year. But I think when you have so many young guys … you’ve got to learn how to win games in different ways. And when you’re winning games, guys are gaining confidence. Going into the summer losing down the stretch, you’re not feeling great about yourself personally and as a team. But if you improve down the stretch and continue to work at your game, and young guys are putting up points and just winning, you have a little extra swagger and confidence coming into the next year.”
March 27, 2019
Schenn and Hughes no strangers to sharing NHL debuts
When Quinn Hughes first arrived in Vancouver just over two weeks ago, it wasn’t the first time Luke Schenn had seen the diminutive blue-liner.
“You’d laugh about it if you knew you’d be D partners down the road,” Schenn said.
Hughes, for his part, remembers Schenn’s debut.
“It’s pretty surreal,” he said of realizing that the guy he got to watch make his debut will be next to him for his own start.
“Luke was so good (as a rookie).”
“He talks about plays; he’s already mentioned to me that he talks a lot on the ice,” Hughes said about his conversations with the 29-year-old Schenn so far. “I think comms (communication) is big. It’s something I’m always trying to work on.”
Hughes isn’t the first young defenceman the well-travelled Schenn has played mentor to, either. In Philadelphia, he partnered with Shayne Gostisbehere for the first few games of Gostisbehere’s career. In Arizona, he played alongside Jacob Chychrun during that player’s rookie season.
Chychrun, he discovered, had travelled when he was 10 years old with his father to Ottawa to take in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, where the Leafs picked Schenn fifth overall. That gave Schenn pause for thought.
“I don’t even feel that old, but man, oh man, guys are just getting younger and I guess I’m getting up there in years,” he said, smiling, before sharing a lesson.
“You’ve got to be nice to the seven-, eight-, nine-year-olds because one day they could be your D partners!
March 27, 2019
Canucks defenceman Hughes 'feeling good,' expected to make NHL debut Thursday
The set up simply made sense, the coach said, explaining that he likes his other defensive pairings and wants the left-handed Hughes playing with a righty.
Schenn may also have some wisdom to share, Green added.
“I think he’ll be a good guy to talk to on the bench. I think just calming nerves. He’s not going to model his game after Schenner, they’re opposites,” he said. “But he’ll be able to give him some good advice.”
A former fifth-overall Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick, Schenn knows what’s it’s like to be a young defenceman surrounded by big expectations.
He jumped straight to the NHL in 2008, with his debut coming on opening night in Detroit — the same night the Red Wings were hoisting their Stanley Cup banner.
“I think my first shift was against (Chris) Osgood, (Brian) Rafalski, (Nicklas) Lidstrom, (Pavel) Datsyuk, (Henrik) Zetterberg and (Tomas) Holmstrom,” Schenn said. “So that was a bit of a ‘What am I doing out here?’ moment. And you try to hurry off to the bench as quick as you can when you see those guys.”
Every player remembers their first game and Hughes will be no different, the 29-year-old added.
“It’s a moment you’ve been dreaming of your entire life and you’ve just got to enjoy it, don’t over think it,” he said. “Obviously there’s going to be some nerves and butterflies, but he’ll be fine. He’ll settle right in. Obviously he’s a guy who plays with a ton of confidence so he’ll be great and I’m looking forward to it.”
Hughes grew up in Toronto and remembers watching an 18-year-old Schenn play for the Leafs.
“He definitely knows what he’s talking about,” Hughes said. “When you’ve got an experienced vet behind you like him, it’s pretty easy. I’m just going to follow his lead. I’m excited.”
March 29, 2019
Luke’s Story - Canucks’ Schenn setting a strong example in latest NHL opportunity
Hughes’ dazzling debut for the Canucks in Thursday’s 3-2 shootout win against the Los Angeles Kings was only slightly more surprising than the guy he played alongside.
After the rookie from the University of Michigan spectacularly beat veteran Trevor Lewis behind the Los Angeles net to create a scoring chance that ended with a debut assist on Brock Boeser’s second-period goal, Schenn ignored the celebration and instead confronted Lewis, who had knocked down Hughes at the end of the play.
Soon Schenn seemed to be confronting the entire L.A. lineup and at one point had two Kings pinned to the ice behind the net while goalie Jonathan Quick squirted water on him
"I didn’t know what we were getting, but, man, is he a good example," Green told reporters this week when asked about Schenn. "I didn’t even know if he’d get in the lineup. I think his game has steadily improved with the more games he has played. And it’s not so much just his play, either. It’s his attitude and what he’s trying to bring to the table that others guys should watch and learn. You hope that guys are taking notice."
"Mark Giordano is 35 years old and is having a career year," Schenn says of the Calgary Flames’ defenceman. "I’d be surprised if he told you he just got faster. There’s no way I’m comparing myself to him, but I’m just saying he’s smart enough to think the game at a higher pace than other guys. There are a lot of veteran defencemen who aren’t necessarily getting faster. But there’s different ways that I’ve been taught – reading the rush, gapping up in the offensive zone, getting back for pucks – where you’re not necessarily getting into foot races."
"He’s a good example for young guys when they get in the lineup, to make sure you’re doing whatever you can to stay in the lineup," Green says. "Not only for this year but for next year.”
"You want to keep going for other reasons than just yourself," Schenn says. "I’m a proud guy and I didn’t want to just roll over. I came up here and didn’t know if I was even going to get the chance to play. Any opportunity I get I’m grateful for.
"At the end of the day, I don’t know what’s going to happen. The organization’s going to make decisions on everyone. I just want to leave it all there on the ice and whatever happens happens. I don’t want to have any type of regret."
April 1, 2019
Canucks will explore contract extension for 'pleasant surprise' Luke Schenn
Veteran defenceman has been physical, intimidating and protective of younger players
The rejuvenated Luke Schenn is a good story.
The unrestricted free-agent defenceman is also a good bet to sign a short and reasonable contract extension with the Vancouver Canucks because he has added an intriguing element.
Schenn has been a steadying influence on the ice, on the bench and in the room. He has been a physical presence along the boards and in front of the net and a one-man protection agency for smaller and younger players.
For Quinn Hughes, he has been the big brother in a pleasing pairing and has allowed the roster to play without worrying about being run out of the rink. In the last four games, Schenn has 26 hits — including a dozen against the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 24 — to go with 11 shot attempts and 10 blocked shots.
When Troy Stecher was run by hulking Los Angeles Kings defenceman Kurtis MacDermid on Thursday, Schenn challenged him. And when Elias Pettersson was being plastered on the sideboards and Hughes dropped to the ice on the same night, Schenn responded.
“You just don’t want to get pushed around at any point in time,” said Schenn, who’s in his 11th NHL season and has logged 731 games with six clubs NHL clubs. “If there’s a late hit, you want to have your teammate’s back and take on that role.
“I’m viewed as an old guy, but in reality I still feel I can play and I’m 29 and not 39. I’ve been given an opportunity in Vancouver I wasn’t sure I would get. I’ll just play as well as I can, leave everything on the table and not have any regrets going into the summer.
“I just want to continue to build the trust here and see where it ends up.”
As for pairing with Hughes, the early directives soon disappeared as the kid got his game going.
“I wanted us to stay tight in the neutral zone off the rush and just work with each other,” said Schenn. “But the way he was moving and skating, I was just going to keep giving him the puck.”
Travis Green has an appreciation for Schenn’s professionalism.
“He deserves to play and our young guys can learn a lot because he understands the pressure of being a young defenceman in the league,” the Canucks coach said in reference to Schenn playing 70 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs as rookie in 2008-09 after being the fifth-overall selection in the 2008 draft.
“You can learn a lot from a guy like that by sticking up for each other and playing hard. And it’s not just that — he’s made some nice plays with the puck.”
April 8, 2019
Luke Schenn finds a home with Vancouver Canucks
This season, the 29-year-old found a new home with the Vancouver Canucks — and a chance to prove his worth as an NHL defenceman.
"I'm very grateful and thankful for the opportunity. I didn't know if it was going to come," Schenn said last week. "I was working towards it all year, went down to the minors hoping to improve on some things. ... It's been so far a good fit and I'm just trying to play hard and compete until the end. We'll see what happens."
Schenn also played a role in mentoring one of the franchise's most highly anticipated defensive prospects, Quinn Hughes. Head coach Travis Green put the pair together for the 19-year-olds first five NHL games.
Skating alongside the veteran was "really cool," Hughes said.
"I remember watching him when he was drafted to the Leafs and then his rookie season and everything like that," he said.
"He was unbelievable with me. He made me feel more confident, just his presence. He's played like (734) games or whatever it is. So many. He just talks a lot on the ice and makes it easy for you. ... He definitely helped my adjustment for sure and I had a lot of fun."
The pairing was a special experience for Schenn, too, who said the young defenceman was "awesome."
"He's so skilled with the puck, great skater, can jump in the play and has poise and makes a lot of plays obviously that not a ton of defencemen can," he said. "When you're drafting guys like him and (forwards Elias) Pettersson and (Brock) Boeser, it's pretty impressive that these are the guys coming through your system. So the future in Vancouver is very bright."
It's also a future that Schenn wants to be a part of. He's an unrestricted free agent come July 1, but wants to stay in Vancouver.
"I absolutely love playing in a Canadian market, the passion of the fans and how much everyone cares is awesome," he said, adding that the city's also close to his off-season home in Kelowna, B.C., which has made life easier for his wife and young son after years of unpredictable travel.
Schenn's family followed him to Vancouver in February and they've been able to spend lots of time together since.
After spending a decade in the NHL, Schenn knows the Canucks have tough decisions to make this off-season, but he hopes there's a way he fits into the plans going forward.
"I've loved every minute of it here, I haven't taken anything for granted," he said. "It's real special being here. It's been a real great experience so far."
May 6, 2019
Schenn a hit in Vancouver
The Vancouver Canucks had no idea Luke Schenn would be a key player for them when they acquired him, and neither did fans. Both the team and it’s fans are thrilled with the performances Schenn turned in.
Fans began to take notice of Schenn’s play. His physicality and his willingness to stick up for his teammates — especially his willingness to spill blood if an opposing player even breathed on Pettersson — made fans quickly realize that Schenn was everything we had hoped Gudbranson could be, for a fraction of the cost.
The hashtag #DrunkOnSchenn was already quickly becoming a regularity on Canucks Twitter, but the game where everyone took notice of Schenn’s play was on March 24th against the Columbus Blue Jackets. In that game, Schenn rewrote the Canucks history books by recording 12 hits — the most by any Canuck in a single game.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, took notice of Schenn, especially after that game. With more and more reporters beginning to want to get a word in with him on where this stellar play was coming from, Schenn said:
“I’m very grateful and thankful for the opportunity. I didn’t know if it was going to come. I was working towards it all year, went down to the minors hoping to improve on some things. … It’s been so far a good fit and I’m just trying to play hard and compete until the end. We’ll see what happens.”
That quote perfectly reflects the way that Schenn played for the Canucks this season. According to general manager Jim Benning, Schenn was exactly what his team needed last year.
“He’s a good person, he’s got a lot of experience playing in the league and he filled a need for us,” Benning said. “He’s a physical, stay at home defenceman but he moved the puck fast. I thought he played well for us.”
As a result, the Canucks weren’t shy about voicing their interest in bringing Schenn back next year, and why wouldn’t they? He is exactly the kind of person you want on your team, ready to stick up for your young players. Speaking of sticking up for your young players, have you heard the story of why there was a scrum after Quinn Hughes picked up his first career assist off of a Brock Boeser goal?
You’ve already seen the goal, but just for a reminder, watch that video. There’s a lot to unpack here, and I’ll explain why Schenn plays such a quiet yet huge part in this, even though you can hardly see him at all in the clip.
So Hughes slams on the brakes and banks the puck to himself off the back of the Kings’ net, and shakes off ten year NHL veteran, Trevor Lewis. Hughes walks back out and let’s go of a shot, and Lewis finishes a hard check on Hughes that knocks him to the ice, while Boeser buries the rebound from Hughes’ original shot.
Did you catch why Schenn would be important in this story? If you guessed, “Lewis finishes a hard check on Hughes that knocks him to the ice,” you’re correct! While Pettersson, Boeser, and Hughes celebrate with one another, Schenn goes to retrieve the memorable puck for Hughes to keep, but not before he has a word with Lewis — and the other four Kings players on the ice.
He knew he would be outnumbered, and he knew the guys he was on the ice with weren’t exactly the toughest that the Canucks roster had to offer, but that’s the point; Schenn makes sure that everyone, not just Lewis, knows that it’s not okay to take liberties on the Canucks’ young guns.
That’s exactly what we want as fans, for our young, exciting players to be protected and for opposing teams to know that it’s not open season on the Canucks rookies. Schenn absolutely has a role on this team, and if he is re-signed, then there will be some healthy competition for roster spots come October.
It was a healthy combination of solid defence, finishing every check, sticking up for his teammates, and not once appearing to take a shift for granted that turned Schenn from a minor trade pickup into a fan favourite amongst Canucks fans — in just 18 games.
May 23, 2019
Veteran defenceman was a mid-season depth pickup and played himself into a Canucks future:
How 2018-19 went: After suddenly finding himself skating with Quinn Hughes for the super-rookie’s debut in the NHL, Schenn was brutally honest in how amazed he was to even be in that spot.
“I’ve been given an opportunity in Vancouver I wasn’t sure I would get and just play as well as I can, leave everything on the table and not have any regrets going into the summer,” he told reporters on March 28, after the Canucks beat the Kings 3-2.
He said as the 2018-19 season wound down that clearing waivers and being demoted to the AHL in November shook him.
“Am I ever going to get to play in the NHL again?” he said he asked himself at the time.
As good-natured and conversational as they come, Schenn set himself to work. By the end of the season it looked like he’d built himself a new playing home in Vancouver.
With a dearth of depth on the right side, the Canucks look set to re-sign him as a third-pairing defenceman.