A trade that has been rumored about since February has finally been completed. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the Flyers will be shipping out James Van Riemsdyk to Toronto for Defenseman Luke Schenn.
JVR has been a part of every trade rumor this offseason, whether it be Rick Nash, Bobby Ryan, or even Shea Weber; it seemed only a matter of time before he was sent packing. Philadelphia attempted to make the swap back at the trade deadline, but a concussion suffered by Van Riemsdyk caused Toronto to back out. At a press conference after the trade, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren admitted that the trade” had been in the works for months.”
However, the deal is finally complete, and both get a fresh, new start. The 2nd overall pick in 2007, “Reimer” played just 43 games this season, dealing with a multitude of injuries. He scored 11 goals, and had 14 assists. There were high expectations for the 23 year old coming into the 2012 season, as he had an incredible playoff run in 2011. A broken foot, a concussion, and a recurring groin injury severely limited his play, and became expendable to GM Paul Holmgren. Van Riemsdyk now gets to play in a smaller market, and all the spotlight is finally off him.
In return, Philadelphia got quite the solid Defenseman. Schenn played 79 games last year, scoring 2 goals and 20 assists, as well as holding a modest +/- of -6. The name sound familiar? It should, because that is Flyers Winger Brayen Schenn’s brother. When asked about playing with his brother, (Luke) Schenn said it is a “dream come true.” Paul Holmgren and the Flyers have desperately been seeking Defensive help, and Nashville’s Ryan Suter and Shea Weber all have been names tied to the organization. With the Defensive pool slim at pick #20, the Flyers decided to draft a Center in Friday’s NHL Entry Draft. But finally, the Flyers get the Defensive depth they so desperately needed with this trade.
Luke Schenn is a hulking figure standing at 6’2″, 229 lbs., and is an extremely physical defenseman. At only 22 years old, Schenn has not even reached the prime of his career, and will contribute greatly for many years in Orange and Black.
As of right now, Toronto may have gotten the best of this trade, but Philadelphia now has more options. Van Riemsdyk’s cap hit is $4.25 million for the next 6 years, in comparison to Schenn’s $3.6 million over the next 4 years. With a little less than $1 million shed in this trade, plus the money the Flyers will have by putting Chris Pronger on the LTIR, Philadelphia will have about $16 million in cap space. For a GM who usually finds his hands tied financially, this gives Paul Holmgren all sorts of room to acquire the big name offensive scorer they need. The name that comes to mind? Zach Parise. The former Devils forward posted 31 goals and 38 assists, and would perfectly on the Claude Giroux line. However, the Flyers may have to jump into a bidding war with Pittsburgh, as Courier-Post writer Randy Miller reports the Penguins will be going after Parise.
Both Schenn and Van Riemsdyk have untapped potential, and both should have great careers ahead of them. However, Philadelphia needs to take advantage of the opportunity they have in front of them. They were able to free up more cap space, as well as bring in a good, young Defenseman. Now, Philadelphia can turn their undivided attention to upgrading that Offense, one that was extremely potent last year.
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