Burke keeps trade avenues open

Defenceman Luke Schenn, now seen as a prime trade candidate with Tuesday’s four-year, $15 million US contract extension for John-Michael Liles, has been waiting four years to be a part of a winning Leaf team and has no desire to go now.

“The guys we have right now are obviously thinking they’ll be part of things here in the future,” Schenn said Tuesday.

He’s already had a talk with the general manager after his name seeped into trade banter for Flyers’ James van Riemsdyk earlier this month.

“We want to get ourselves into the playoffs,” Schenn added. “(Trades) are the business side of hockey and we really can’t focus on that. There’s a lot of talk and speculation outside, but that’s out of our control.

“I was talking to my roommate Cody Franson and he said he’s never dealt with anything like this (before arriving this season). He said in Nashville, there might be a bit of rumbling on the day of the deadline, but not a month or two in advance. “That’s part of being in Toronto.”

Of the 20 men that celebrated the back-to-back wins on Tuesday night in Long Island, some likely won’t be around for the final 33 regular season games. Part of that is internal dynamics, because Liles and winger Colby Armstrong will be back after the break. Both Armstrong and Darryl Boyce can’t be accommodated under the 23-man roster if no one gets demoted or traded in the meantime.