We're about a week into Dave Hakstol's first NHL training camp right now, and OK ... it's only been a week. Hard to make too many assumptions at this point. But we can't just ignore what we're seeing either, and we're starting to notice some things about the coach, particularly with how he's using certain players.
And when it comes to Brayden Schenn and Luke Schenn, it's time to get a little curious.
Let's start with Brayden. For most of camp, he's been the right winger on a line with center Scott Laughton and left winger Chris Porter.
Laughton is a third-year prospect with hopes of making the Flyers out of camp this month, but the reality is that with the team's log jam at center, the 21 year old will almost certainly be a Phantom. Porter was an offseason free agent signing who's nothing more than organizational depth, and he's slated to play most of the year in Lehigh Valley as well.
So ... Brayden Schenn has been playing with AHLers all camp.
It's one thing when it happens on the first day of camp and Hakstol says that "no message" was being sent to him with the pairing. It's one thing when this trio carries through the first weekend of camp and into the first preseason game in Brooklyn.
After that preseason game on Monday, in which Schenn scored a goal, he was moved to a line with Laughton and R.J. Umberger for Tuesday's preseason game. He played a bunch on the power play, scored a goal, and aside from a bad penalty in the 3-on-3 overtime period ... things were better for him, yeah?
The Flyers were off on Wednesday. Now it's Thursday and ... Schenn's back on a line with Laughton and Porter. There's a game on Friday night, and we'll see how Schenn is used then (if at all), but we're now almost a week into camp and Schenn is still playing with AHL players.
This can't continue for much longer if he's to have a big role on this Flyers team this year, can it? Even if Day 1 wasn't a message from Hakstol, this has to be.
It runs in the family?
Now ... to Brayden's brother, defenseman Luke Schenn. He's in the same awkward boat as his little bro, seemingly out on an AHL island while the rest of the defense gets better opportunities.
On Day 1 of camp, Luke was out with Brandon Manning, a guy who's earned some NHL time in the past and is on a one-way NHL contract, but is probably going to be in the AHL this season anyway -- barring injuries or anything unforeseen.
Ahead of Schenn on the depth chart on Day 1 were pairings of Mark Streit and Nick Schultz, Evgeny Medvedev and Michael Del Zotto, and Andrew MacDonald and Radko Gudas. That's not a huge deal on the first day, but it's continued all week. Schenn played with Manning in the preseason game Monday in Allentown, then sat out on Tuesday. Now it's Thursday and he's back with Manning.
This is a little more curious for Luke Schenn than most other players, because there's been talk about him potentially being trade bait. Conventional wisdom says that you try to "showcase" a player you're trying to trade ... but another way of looking at it, maybe you don't waste time acclimating a guy into your lineup if you're planning on moving him before the season starts. Who knows?
Luke Schenn makes $3.6 million against the cap, and moving him would open up space for somebody like Shayne Gostisbehere to potentially make the team. His usage in camp so far suggests that he's not long on this team, be it because he's trade bait or just because Dave Hakstol doesn't like him.
We'll see if this continues to be a trend with the Schenn Brothers as camp continues.