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: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /

James van Riemsdyk: The Future

If he can stay healthy and can still contribute, he could be a valuable asset at the trading deadline. He could easily contribute to a team looking for that one final piece to get them over the edge. If that is the case, there could be a bidding war for his services. And that is good for the Flyers because the more teams that could use a veteran scorer like van Riemsdyk, the higher the price can become. The Flyers could also increase their return if they eat up any remaining salary he may have.

Peering into the crystal ball of the sports world can be tough. All of a sudden a team can get hot or cold. A player’s injury can derail a team’s chances big time. A team that has lots of good players, like the Boston Bruins can weather a David Pastrňák or Patrice Bergeron getting hurt. They could hardly afford both of them being out. The point is even a loaded team like the Bruins could find themselves needing help if someone big got hurt.

Likewise, there will be salary cap issues as some teams may not have space…unless we get a player in return instead of draft picks. Another team may make a trade hoping to sign him in the future.

For right now, he could fit in well with a team like the Carolina Hurricanes looking to get that extra push to get to the Stanley Cup finals. Other Eastern teams that could be in the hunt could include the New York Islanders trying to secure a playoff spot, the New Jersey Devils looking to add some veteran leadership, the Pittsburgh Penguins trying to make one more run, the Ottawa Senators looking to reunite him with Giroux, or New York Rangers wanting one more scoring threat. Maybe Washington, another team trying to recapture some former glory, may want him to play with his brother Trevor.

In the Western Conference, the Seattle Kraken are still holding onto a playoff spot. They could use a veteran presence as he could offer. Struggling teams in the West, like the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, and Edmonton Oilers could all make a play for him to secure a playoff spot. A team, such as the Los Angeles Kings or Winnipeg Jets may trade for him to keep one of the other teams from acquiring him.

Even then, his time as a Flyer may not be over yet. Ok, yes he is overpaid considering what we got in return for it. But what if he were to be traded and then wanted to come back to Philly? What if he signed a three-year deal for $12-$15 million; roughly half of what he makes now? Would you want him then?

He’ll be 34 in May. He may not get many big offers, considering his level of play and injuries as of the last few years. But if he could be offered a smaller salary and stay here, would you take him?

I for one would. He seems to be gelling well with younger players like Owen Tippett and Morgan Frost. His experience has been invaluable to their development. That could benefit the Flyers greatly. And at a reduced rate, they could still have the funds to go after a mid to upper-tier free agent and finally get this team back near the top of the division again.

James van Riemsdyk is a hot topic amongst Flyers fans. He is good, but not as good as he could be. Rumors flew that he has floated this past offseason and nobody was willing to give the Flyers anything good. Likewise, he was left unprotected in the Kraken’s expansion draft and Seattle chose Carsen Twarynski instead; who has yet to play for them.  Maybe he wouldn’t want to return to a team that has “treated him as such.”

It’s all too early to tell. While the Flyers are not yet out of a playoff position, let’s be honest…it ain’t looking too promising. But then again, the Phillies fired their coach and were in fourth place in June. They made it to the playoffs on the last day of the year. So, who knows? The sports crystal ball is kinda fuzzy right now.

Whatever happens, it will surely be interesting. Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher hasn’t really inspired a lot of confidence in some of his moves. Either way, it has, mostly, been fun watching JVR as a Flyer.