Flyers’ James Van Riemsdyk Floating Amongst NHL Trade Rumors

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It’s no secret that the retirement of Matt Niskanen leaves the Flyers with a significant hole in their defense; However, a new name swirling through the trade rumors could be the first move of many for Philadelphia. Are the Flyers considering shopping James Van Riemsdyk to bring in blue line help?

The JVR rumors originated with this tweet from CBJ Coverage.

They also reported that Philadelphia is among three teams who have expressed early interest; the other teams being the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets. Now, according to this article via NHL Trade Rumors, moving James Van Riemsdyk could be a win-win for both Philadelphia and Columbus.

Flyers’ Van Riemsdyk for Blue Jackets’ Savard

The article outlines Columbus’ interest in moving RHD David Savard in hopes to gain, “extra fire-power upfront.” While JVR may not be your Ovechkin or McDavid, extra fire-power is certainly in his wheelhouse. In 66 games played, Van Riemsdyk totaled 40 points (19G, 21A). He averages just .09 points less per game than CBJ’s top 2019-20 scorer, Pierre-Luc Dubois (.7 PPG; 49 points in 70 games; 18G, 31A). That’s 40 points from a middle-six player that could significantly bolster the CBJ offensive line-up.

Also, a right-handed defenseman joining us in South Philly doesn’t sound too bad either. Savard totaled 11 total points last season, all in assists. A play-maker on the blue line would compliment an offensive defenseman very well. While Savard comes with a cap hit of $4.25 million, he’s entering his contract year and Philadelphia would be relieved of the $7M cap hit also known as the James Van Riemsdyk horror contract (and potentially others).

The Domino Effect

I say potentially others because the addition of David Savard could send another player packing and initiate a domino effect of moves. The acquisition of Erik Gustafsson left a few question marks regarding Shayne Gostisbehere’s future as a Flyer. With a promising list of defensive prospects, it’d hard to imagine the Flyers’ not cutting ties with Ghost [should they acquire another veteran blue liner].

In the past, we’ve seen rumored interest from other teams with different scenarios regarding Ghost. Just talent-based, on paper, he’s a quality trade piece: top four, offensive defenseman, strong on the power play, and has a quick release with a hard shot. Where we start to backpedal is his recent slowed production, sloppier play style, and dreaded cap hit. However, the contract isn’t a bad one for a team that would be a good fit for Shayne Gostisbehere. For a serviceable forward, a Ghost trade outside of the Metropolitan (or East, if it happens this season) division would be a good move.

This could be the start of many small, yet significant moves from Chuck Fletcher. Unloading heavy contracts is a step in the right direction; as it is now, Gostisbehere and Van Riemsdyk have two of the heaviest contracts with the least production. Moving them for the right pieces may be the best move.

Expansion Draft

Would acquiring David Savard change much about the expansion draft? I’d firmly say no. Savard will be an unrestricted free agent in 2021 (if they acquire and do not immediately extend him. The Flyers should be pretty much locked on protecting Provorov, Myers, and Sanheim [assuming they go the 7F, 3D, 1G route]. It would be difficult to imagine the Flyers protecting anyone over those three, let alone a player they acquired to help with cap relief.

Mandatory Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre/Philly Sports Network Staff Photographer

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