Schenn eager to work hard to make Flyers this year

Chris Pronger: next captain?
Chris Pronger: next captain? (YONG KIM / Staff photographer)
Posted: June 25, 2011

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Aside from his driveway, Brayden Schenn has only faced older brother Luke once on the ice.

That might change this season. But Brayden will have to earn a spot on the Flyers' roster first to have four cracks this season at Luke, one of the rising stars on the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"It would be a lot of fun," Brayden Schenn said yesterday in his first media availability since being acquired Thursday from Los Angeles in a deal that saw Mike Richards head west. "There's always a little bit of a battle that we have going. I've got to get there first and make it and prove myself."

Schenn, the No. 5 overall pick in 2009, was hanging at Kings teammate Jarrett Stoll's charity golf outing in western Canada when he found out about the trade.

"It was certainly unexpected," Schenn said.

Luckily, Flyers forward Scott Hartnell was at the same golf tournament - and was quick to welcome his newest teammate.

"I had made some good friends on the Kings," Schenn said. "But it was good to get the inside scoop from Scott."

Many consider Schenn to be the jewel of Thursday's trade, which included Kings forward Wayne Simmonds and a second-round pick. Schenn was on the Kings roster for 25 games last season as a 19-year-old, but played in only eight games before being sent back to juniors for more seasoning.

Ironically, Schenn said he has tried to model his game after Richards. Schenn is expected to be in the Flyers' Opening Night lineup if he continues to progress this summer.

"I try to be good in both ends and try to put up some points," Schenn said. "I got some experience when I was up [in the NHL]. I think playing in the World Juniors and Memorial Cup really helped prepare me. I think I'm ready to come into camp and compete for a spot next year."

Agent: Holmgren lied

Jeff Carter has yet to publicly address his stunning trade on Thursday, but that's because his agent said yesterday he remains in total shock.

According to Rick Curran, his Philadelphia-based agent, who candidly spoke to the Columbus Dispatch in the lobby of the Hilton Minneapolis yesterday morning, Carter had gotten reassurance from general manager Paul Holmgren as recently as this week in a face-to-face meeting that he would not be traded.

Carter signed an 11-year, $58 million extension on Nov. 13, 2010. His no-trade clause was set to kick in on July 1, 2012.

"Jeff called me and asked about the rumors 2 weeks ago," Curran told the Dispatch. "He figured teams were asking about him anyways. I called Paul, and I asked him if this is something we should be concerned about.

"Paul assured me that there was nothing to worry about, that they weren't interested in trading Jeff. He told me that Jeff could come in and meet with him to tell him the same things. And he did. He assured him that they weren't trading him."

When asked about this week's conversation with Carter, Holmgren shot down Curran's version of the story.

"I was in the room, and I'm not sure I would word it that way," Holmgren said. "That's between Jeff and I. That was a hard phone call for me to make, too [about the trade]. It was a short conversation. I happen to like Jeff a lot. It's just one of those things."

Pronger the next captain?

Chris Pronger said he was fishing with his kids "up in the bush" in Canada when he found out about the Flyers' decision to gut the nucleus of their team on Thursday.

Even as the heir apparent to Mike Richards' captaincy, having worn the 'C' in St. Louis and Anaheim, Pronger said he hasn't yet begun to think about the possibility of that role with the Flyers.

"I haven't put that much thought into it, to be honest with you," Pronger said. "This is all very, very fresh to a lot of us. I'd have to talk to [Holmgren] and [coach Peter Laviolette] and see what their thoughts are, and go from there.

"You don't nominate yourself. I've never been part of a team where somebody nominates himself. I think that may be a little bit premature to start talking about stuff like that. It's 1 day after two huge trades on our team and in the history of the Flyers, so I don't think that's in anybody's minds right now."

Pronger also couldn't say for sure whether the Flyers are a better team yesterday than they were Thursday, having not known much about any of the three players the Flyers picked up.

But he did say that it might be too soon to judge, even though the Flyers traded away the heart and soul of their team and their leading goal scorer.

"I haven't put the X's and O's together yet," Pronger said. "You've got to make tough decisions. Sometimes it may hurt and may feel like you're making your team worse to make it better." *

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