Maple Leafs Should Consider Reuniting With Flyers Winger

Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk
Photo Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the top teams in the NHL, as they sport a 31-13-8 record. When looking at their current roster, it is hard to find too many flaws with it. However, it would not be bad for them to add to their forward depth before the 2023 Trade Deadline passes.

The Philadelphia Flyers, on the other hand, have a 21-22-9 record, and their playoff hopes are very low because of it. As a result, they are expected to be major sellers at this year’s deadline. Players like Kevin Hayes, Justin Braun, and Patrick Brown have emerged as trade candidates, but the Maple Leafs should instead have an old friend on their radar – James van Riemsdyk.

van Riemsdyk is a familiar face, as he spent six seasons as a Maple Leaf from 2012-13 to 2017-18. Yet, when looking at Toronto’s group, it is fair to argue that he could provide them with a nice upgrade heading into the playoffs. In 32 games this season, the 33-year-old winger has eight goals with 21 points. With production like this, he could fit nicely in Toronto’s middle six as they gear up for the final portion of the season.

When looking at a potential placement for JVR in Toronto’s lineup, it is fair to argue that he could be an upgrade over Calle Jarnkrok on the second line. However, he also could provide a spark to their third line and replace a player like Pierre Engvall on it. With that, van Riemsdyk’s excellent net-front presence ability would be great for Toronto to add for the playoffs.

With JVR carrying a $7 million cap hit, the Flyers would need to retain half of his salary in any hypothetical move. Yet, when noting that the 2007 second-overall pick is a pending unrestricted free agent (UFA), it is highly doubtful that the Flyers would be against doing this. Nevertheless, we will need to wait and see if a reunion between the Leafs and JVR comes to fruition at the deadline from here.

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