James Van Riemsdyk Flyers

James Van Riemsdyk Panning Out For Flyers

The Flyers are in the hunt for a playoff spot but there is no guarantee they make the playoffs in 2018-19 let alone make a deep playoff run. Either way as up and down as the Flyers season has been they are seeing a few positives out of this season. One of them being James Van Riemsdyk. After missing basically all of October and getting off to a slow start, Van Riemsdyk has been catching fire lately and carrying the load for the Flyers.

In March alone JVR has more goals than he did in the first three months of the season. Already, just 18 days into March, JVR has 8-goals in eight games played. Over the last three months JVR has 20-goals in 34 games. Of the Flyers 31 goals in March, JVR has 8 of them making up around 25% of the Flyers goals. Of his 20 goals over the last 3-months and the Flyers 107 goals over those three-months, JVR has comprised of 18% of the Flyers goals.

It is fair to say aside from a slow start and more so a slow two months JVR has been off and running since. This month has been his best to date, with eight goals in eight games and only one of them coming on the power play JVR is finding the back of the net 5 on 5 which is extremely important for teams in order to be successful.

Van Riemsdyk is signed until 2023 on a 7 million dollar annual average value. With a cap hit of 28 million over the next four-years at 29-years-old right on the edge of his prime but still with plenty to give the Flyers signing of JVR this off-season is panning out and looking to be worthy. To assume he will do this until 2023 at age 33 is very likely based off the game he plays. JVR is not an overly physical forward, he is not someone with a ton of speed and he is not a forward that possess a flashy skill-set. He is a better version of Wayne Simmonds per say (I know that may sting for Flyers fans) but it is true. He plays in front of the net, hangs out around the crease and makes his living off the front of the net. With JVR’s current style of play we can assume he will be a 25+ goal scorer for the better of three years.

NHL Free Agency

Notable Free Agents this offseason

Alright I may be jumping the gun here folks, but there are some major names out there that can add a ton of value to some NHL teams, the notable free agents are listed below. These are the guys, that can probably play a top 6, bottom 6 roles, depending on the team. Players that have a little more experience and years under their belt, that they can add not only a role position to a team but also a laundry list of playoff and regular season experience. Some defenseman on this list as well that can add a ton value to a good amount of teams, and all are pretty experienced defenseman that provides a solid top four, five defensemen. Take a look at some of these names out of the 23 names on this list, I am honestly very confident that 15 of them do not end up on their current teams.

Notable Free Agents: Joe Thornton(SJS), Paul Statsny(WPG), Henrik/Daniel Sedin(VAN), Mike Green(DET), Jack Johnson(CBJ), Alexi Emelin(NSH), Zdeno Chara(BOS), David Perron(VGK), Clavin De Haan(NYI), Leo Komarov(TOR), Jonathan Bernier(COL), Joel Ward(SJS), Thomas Hickey(NYI), Patrick Maroon(NJD), Andrej Sustr(TBL), Mark Letestu(CBJ), Chris Kunitz(TBL), Nick Holden(BOS), Michael Grabner(NJD), Antoine Vermette(ANH), Joffrey Lupul(TOR), Vlatteri Flippula(PHL) **not to mention all these names are UFA’s*** (unrestricted)

When we look at these big-time free agent names, I would have to assume at least 3 of the 6 will not return to their respective teams. Evander Kane has been playing great as of late, I think San Jose offers him a sheet for sure, JVR and Bozak I believe will be gone, Toronto will want to make a BIG offseason signing for a defenseman and they will need to clear up cap from getting rid of those two players. Nash and Neal, I could see returning back to their teams but I would not be surprised¬†to see Nash walk and it would be idiotic to let Neal walk if you are Vegas. Lastly, John Tavares, we all have to assume this¬†guy is not happy where he is right now. He has openly come out and said that a home rink is a major problem for him, he has been offered contracts and yet to sign and recently came out and said he is not having fun. It’s as simple as this the Islanders are not doing anything to keep Tavares around and or happy. Yes, their offense is good, but without a defense or goaltender than the Islanders will not win and if the Islanders don’t win Tavares is not going to be happy. I see Tavares walking for possibly even less to play on an elite team.

BIG TIME FREE AGENTS: John Tavares(NYI) Evander Kane(SJS), James Van Riemsdyk(TOR), Tyler Bozak(TOR), James Neal(VGK), Rick Nash(BOS)

**also all these names are UFA’s**