Schenn brothers host tourney
Goal to raise $250,000
By Daniel Nugent-Bowman, The StarPhoenix
June 15, 2012
Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn, left, signs autographs ahead of the celebrity golf tournament that has attracted a number of professional hockey players to Saskatoon.
Photograph by: Gord Waldner, The StarPhoenix , The StarPhoenix
Brayden Schenn's rookie season in the NHL was far from uneventful.
It started when his rights were traded to Philadelphia from Los Angeles in the offseason shortly after finishing his WHL career with the Saskatoon Blades.
He suffered a concussion early this past season, toiled in the American Hockey League for a while and then finally scored his first NHL goal in the Winter Classic on Jan. 2.
To cap it off, Schenn was an instrumental piece as the Flyers knocked out the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference quarter-final before bowing out to New Jersey.
"It's a big transition, but I think I handled it pretty well," said the Saskatoon native, who had nine points in 11 post-season games. "Obviously, it wasn't the start I was looking for with the injuries and everything else that played out.
"I think I ended strong. To sum it up, not a great start, but a good finish and hopefully I can build on that."
Schenn is now hoping to build on something off the ice too.
The Flyers centreman was at the Royal University Hospital on Thursday to promote his inaugural charity golf tournament, which he's hosting along with his older brother, Luke, of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The tournament gets underway today at Moonlake Golf & Country Club.
The brothers said they had wanted to start their own charitable tournament in Saskatoon for a while. However, having both played in NHLer Jarret Stoll's tournament over the past two years, they knew it would a challenge to duplicate.
But Stoll decided he would step down after raising more than $1 million in six years for the hospital foundation. Stoll asked Brayden - his former teammate with Los Angeles - to take over, and he and Luke were more than willing to oblige.
"Saskatoon's given us so much growing up as kids," Luke Schenn said. "When you're put in the position where you can help out and give back a little bit, you want to do as much as possible to give back."
It ended up working out for the best, considering Stoll - who won the Stanley Cup with the Kings on Monday - won't be able to make it this year.
"I wanted to eventually pass it on to them and I think they were ready for it," Stoll said during a phone interview Wednesday. "I would have came back for it this year, but obviously things happen. I'll hopefully be there next year."
Through sponsorships and green fees, Royal University Hospital Foundation CEO Arla Gustafson said the tournament could raise as much as $250,000.
That amount would top up the $5.5 million needed for the foundation to open the province's first full-time cardiac electrophysiology lab, which treats patients with heart rhythm disorders.
The Schenns have brought in a handful of teammates for the tournament including Philadelphia's Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell, as well as Toronto's Colby Armstrong, Cody Franson and Carter Ashton.
Gustafson is thrilled they were able to pick up where Stoll left off.
"When we were looking as to how we could continue to raise money for the hospital with a winning formula, Luke and Brayden stepped forward," she said.
On the ice, the Schenns are looking to make the next step forward in their NHL careers.
While only 22, Luke has already played four years in Toronto. The defenceman posted two goals and 22 points in 79 games last season.
Although he has yet to make the playoffs with the Leafs and his name comes up frequently in trade rumours, Luke said he's wiser for his experiences.
"It's all part of it," he said. "Right when you get drafted, you know what you're in for. Even though I'm young in age, I don't feel like a young guy anymore. You know what to expect from yourself and you know the players around the league better."
As a rookie last season, meanwhile, Brayden was only one year removed from junior hockey as netted 12 goals and 18 points in 54 NHL games.
While he was focused on making a name for himself in the big leagues, Brayden said he also made sure to see how former teammates like Jake Trask and Brent Benson were doing with the Blades.
With the team preparing to host the 2013 Memorial Cup, Brayden - who played in the 2010 tournament with Brandon - said he'll continue to watch on with keen interest.
His former head coach and general manager with the Blades, Lorne Molleken, is teeing off in the golf tourney today.
"It's important to keep in close contact with those guys and follow the team," Brayden said.
"They made a trade for me at the deadline and brought me home. I was excited, and you don't forget things like that."
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