Where do the Flyers go from here with James van Riemsdyk?

Flyers, James van Riemsdyk (Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
Flyers, James van Riemsdyk (Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /
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James van Riemsdyk, Flyers
James van Riemsdyk, Flyers (Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports) /

James van Riemsdyk: Return to Philly

As a first-time free agent in 2018, van Riemsdyk could’ve gone anywhere—signed with anyone. Then general manager Ron Hextall picked up the phone and contacted JVR’s agent. He was soon inked to a five-year, $35 million contract.  Expectations were high. He had scored 27 goals with 21 assists in his first year back; down from 36 goals in his final year in Toronto.

Then…well…things changed. Dave Hakstol was out as coach of the Flyers. In came Alain Vigneault. Covid hit. JVR scored only two goals in the playoff bubble, he was also scratched by AV a few games in the series.

Now, JVR had some issues with Coach Lavy. Did he have some with AV? Travis Konecny did and it showed in his performance on the ice. Did JVR have the same issues?

Either way, his goal tallies fell. Maybe it was his linemates. Maybe it was injuries. Maybe it was the coaching. Who knows. But his goals went from 27 in his first year back to 19 in the bubble year, 17 in 2020-21, to 24 last year. But last season, he scored just two goals with four assists when Vigneault was let go. After that, he seemed to find his scoring touch.

He seemed to be doing well enough when he broke his finger. Since returning, he has been one of the more consistent scorers on a team that is lacking any sort of scoring consistency.