Philadelphia Flyers forward James Van Riemsdyk is on the block and would have been traded had he not been concussed earlier in the year, reports the panel on SportsNet’s HockeyCentral Trade Tracker.
According to SportsNet hockey analyst John Shannon, Van Riemsdyk doesn’t fitting with general manager Paul Holmgren’s plans for the Flyers. While the 2007 second overall draft pick is big, highly skilled, and a great playoff performer thus far in his young NHL career as Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star points out, he is not overly physical — an attribute that apparently doesn’t sit to well with Holmgren. And so he could be moved for a piece that’s more valuable to the Flyers.
The HockeyCentral panel listed the Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, and Toronto Maple Leafs as potential destination if he were to be dealt.
Kings general manager Dean Lombardi is desperately trying to improve his club’s offense; Van Riemsdyk had 7 goals in 11 games during the 2011 playoffs. Lombardi likes dealing with teams that he’s familiar with, and since he worked for the Flyers after being fired from San Jose, the two teams could end up as trading partners.
Sharks general manager Doug Wilson has an affinity for big-bodied, talented players and doesn’t put a premium on their physicality. Wilson, too, is looking to add a scorer.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reported recently that the Blue Jackets have asked for Van Riemsdyk, as part of a package that also included Sergei Bobrovsky, Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier, in exchange for their captain, Rick Nash. If the Flyers want Nash, Van Riemsdyk must be included in any trade.
The Flyers were said to be close to dealing Van Riemsdyk to Toronto for blueliner Luke Schenn. The New Jersey native had been linked to the Maple Leafs long before he suffered his concussion on January 12th, as Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun, and others have reported. Rumors about a potential deal with Toronto have died down, and after picking up defensemen Nicklas Grossman and Pavel Kubina, it’s unclear whether the Flyers have any interest in Schenn anymore, as Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun points out.
Meanwhile, Van Riemsdyk told Sarah Baicker of CSNPhilly and other reporters during a media scrum back on February 17 that hearing his name in rumors has been difficult. Especially when his character was being taken into question. Internet chatter had the 22-year-old winger “playing hurt” to avoid being traded.
It’s funny when people question your character that have never even met you before. That’s one thing I pride myself on, is being a hard-working guy that has a high character. And when people say that about you, you can only just laugh about it and just let it roll off you.
I’m not selfish. If that [getting traded] is to happen, whatever. It’s part of the game. So I’m just going to focus on what’s going on now, and that’s playing and helping the Flyers win games.