If JvR is on the trade block, then his stock is sky-high
For many, this is the most exciting part of the NHL season.
With the February 27 trade deadline only days away, the majority of fans have their eyes glued to social networks, mainstream networks and any other kind of information outlet looking for the latest droplet of trade speculation.
Obviously the allure of a new player is something simple enough to excite even the most casual of fan. However, that same bit of excitement isn’t a universal feeling.
This is especially true when talking about the players.
For James van Riemsdyk of the Philadelphia Flyers, this trade deadline has probably been frustrating.
After a disappointing start to his season, rumors began to circulate in early January that the Flyers were entertaining offers to shop the young forward for a defenseman to bolster their depleted backend.
Shortly after the rumors appeared, van Riemsdyk suffered a concussion and missed a large portion of time while recovering from the injury.
While he had no control over the injury, there is thought that he had control over how soon he came back from that said injury.
Some believe that he purposefully delayed his return in order to avoid being dealt at the trade deadline.
“You know, it’s funny when people question your character who’ve never even met you before,” van Riemsdyk said after Saturday’s game against the Penguins. “One thing I pride myself on is being a hard-working guy who has high character and when people say that about you, you can only really just laugh about it and just let it roll off you because I know what I’m all about and that’s not one of the things I’m about.”
With that issue behind him, it still leaves the very real issue of the deadline.
It has been reported by several credible sources that teams have been inquiring about van Rimesdyk’s availability. Through all of it, general manager Paul Holmgren and the Flyers have expressed that they are not interested in moving the forward.
However, that is something the organization has said before and it’s not out of the question that they have a change of heart with the right deal.
“If [being traded] has to happen, whatever, it’s part of the game,” van Riemsdyk said on Saturday. “I’m just focused on what’s going on now and that’s helping the Flyers win games.”
While it’s unclear as to what the team is going to do, what is clear is that van Riemsdyk’s stock is probably as high as it could possibly be coming off a concussion.
Since returning to action on Saturday against the Penguins, JvR has been playing like the player many expected him to be. In his two games back, he has been present, active and engaged.
The most impressive component to his game has been his willingness to drive to the net. On Tuesday night against the Winnipeg Jets, van Riemsdyk had a handful of chances and even assisted on the game-tying goal with only seconds remaining.
For van Riemsdyk, the key to success is based around his ability to get to the front of the goalmouth. To this point in time he hasn’t consistently done that.
At times, it has been difficult to determine if he is in or out of the lineup because he hasn’t been present in many of this season’s games. On top of that, he has failed to gel with any group of players on the team in terms of on-ice chemistry.
Realistically, much of JvR’s highlight reel comes from only 11 games in last season’s playoffs.
Of course in that same breath, one must acknowledge that the young, budding power forward has a wealth of potential up side, which his performance in the team’s past two games has displayed small samples of.
This, of course, is why other teams are interested in acquiring him and exactly why the Flyers are hesitant to move him.
With much of the picture still blurry, one thing is clear; if opposing GMs are watching then they certainly like what they are seeing from van Riemsdyk.
For any team to pry him away from the grip of Holmgren and the Flyers, there is no doubt that it is going to take quite a return to do so.
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