A few weeks ago, Tim Panaccio reported that the Toronto Maple Leafs asked about James van Riemsdyk's availability. A little more than a week ago, Anthony SanFilippo dropped some news that, while similar, was slightly more troublesome.
Back to the Zherdev thing. #Flyers are looking to move salary to get Leighton back on the roster. Zherdev is one name they're talking about.
The others, I was told were/are Carcillo, JVR and Walker, but I've since been told Carcillo and JVR are not likely.
What's fascinating there is the inclusion of James van Riemsdyk in the list of names the Flyers were looking to move. Because this was on a gameday (the Flyers were playing the Bruins), it tended to get lost among Flyers fans. When SanFilippo didn't follow up, we all - including myself - forgot about it.
But then the Edmonton Journal came out with the story that was linked in this morning's Fly By, and it's time to address the rumor.
The Flyers were looking to dump salary, and - not-surprisingly - nobody wanted to trade for Matt Walker. Somewhat surprising is that nobody wanted to trade for either Dan Carcillo or Nik Zherdev. But the fact that the Flyers were even offering up van Riemsdyk is surprising and troubling.
If it's true - as the Edmonton Journal reported - that the Flyers were looking for a first-round pick and another pick in return for van Riemsdyk, how mad should we be? If that trade happened, would you be upset? Obviously, we don't know what the second draft pick was (2nd round? 4th round? 7th round?) but van Riemsdyk is likely going to be a top-6 forward next year for the Flyers, unless they somehow find a way to sign Ville Leino to an extension. The fact that nobody took van Riemsdyk for two draft picks should tell us something, shouldn't it?
But why was he even being shopped in the first place? If the team needed cap space that badly, why didn't they simply waive Matt Walker? More than that, was the team ready to give up on their former number-2 overall draft pick?
At the time of Panaccio's tweet, van Riemsdyk had 3 goals and 7 assists. Through 30 games, he's facing 4th-line quality competition with 2nd-line quality teammates, while starting in the offensive zone the 4th most frequently on the team. Not surprisingly, he is getting results in those fairly easy positions, having a plus/minus per 60 higher than anybody not on the LBH line. In other words, he's being fairly sheltered and carried by his teammates, but he's performing in that situation. Plus, he looked good for a stretch alongside Mike Richards and Andreas Nodl.
With all of that said, it is important to remember this is only van Riemsdyk's second professional season, and he's still far and above where Kyle Turris (the player drafted immediately after JVR) is at this point in his career. And Turris even had a year in the AHL after a miserable first season. When you factor in his potential, his low cap hit ($1.65 million, including bonuses), and his RFA status after next year, it would be pretty difficult to get enough value in return for him.
So our questions to you are: First, is asking for a first-round pick and an additional pick in return for van Riemsdyk a sign of the Flyers giving up on him? Second, regardless of your answer to the first one, is that fair value in return?