We are just days away from the NHL trade deadline. Big names are flying off the board. The Flyers have made their first move also. 2017 second round selection Isaac Ratcliffe has been traded away in a Chuck Fletcher special….for “future considerations”. Yup, the same deal that the Flyers got for Shayne Gostisbehere a few years ago, they just got from Nashville.
Whoo hoo! It’s been several years since the Ghost Bear trade. We are in the “future” and we are still waiting for those considerations. Maybe they will come with that prince that I sent all my credit card information to so he can unlock his bank accounts…but he will give me half of his multi-million dollar estate!
But with big names like Bo Horvat, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Timo Meier joining the Metro Division and other names like Nino Niederreiter, Dimitri Orlov, and Ryan O’Reilly also shipped out, you wonder what James van Riemsdyk is worth now to teams and what teams will be in the market for him. There are lots of rumors swirling around. Let’s take a look at some of them.
What JVR’s Worth?
This has a two part answer. The first part is how desperate are the teams to acquire him. The second part is how good is Fletcher’s negotiating skills. While the second part is frightening to think about, the first part will be easier.
For a team that needs just one more player to push over the edge, JVR could be that guy. He’s not a top line forward anymore, but could settle in nicely on a second or third line; especially on a loaded team. Likewise, he has always been a good player on the power play. Playoff time is when you need a power play sniper more than ever. And as we’ve seen, anything can happen in the playoffs.
What is he worth? At best, a second round pick if a team is really desperate and needs to make a move to catch up to the teams ahead of them. With so many teams, especially in the Eastern Conference, loading up on quality players, somebody may bite the bullet and overpay. Most likely, you could expect a third or maybe fourth round pick or a combo of picks…like a third and sixth or something on that nature.
A lot of that will also depend on how much salary is Fletcher willing to retain. The more money he pays out for JVR, the more he can, in theory, get back. If a big name gets injured between now and Thursday or a team suddenly finds itself on the outside looking in, they could pay a lot to get JVR. Then again, Fletcher might overplay his hand, overvalue what JVR is worth, and then be stuck with him until the end of the season.
Where Could he Go?
Earlier it was reported that some Western Conference teams were looking at him. In all likelihood, you can probably take the Jets off the board after acquiring Niederreiter. The Vegas Golden Knights could use him to add to their firepower, but don’t have the cap space for him.
There were some Eastern Conference teams that could’ve made sense for him as well, but won’t need him now. After the Devils traded for Meier, he’s not going there. Likewise, he’s not going to the Rangers. While a trade to Carolina makes a lot of sense, the Hurricanes don’t typically trade for rentals and they probably will not sign him to an extension.
However, the Canes might be under a lot of pressure for whiffing on the Meier trade. It’s also not likely that the Isles will trade for him. The Lightning would’ve made a lot of sense, as they are trying to reload to defend their Eastern Conference title, but their recent trade for Tanner Jeannot makes that unlikely. And barring a trade, the Bruins are salary cap tapped out.
So, what places look like they could be a likely candidate?