NHL Trade Rumors: Is James van Riemsdyk a Target for the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Brad LeClairCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 02:  James van Riemsdyk #21 of the Philadelphia Flyers collides with Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers during the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park on January 2, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Rangers won 3-2 in regulation.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

According to TSN, during their Insider Trading segment of NHL on TSN, reports are swirling that the Leafs are looking long and hard into acquiring James van Riemsdyk of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Van Riemsdyk is the prototypical power forward the Leafs lack in their attack, and according to many, he's available at the right price.

The Flyers are aging fast on defence, and ever since they lost Chris Pronger, the team has really struggled to keep pucks out of the net.

Initial rumors had Luke Schenn as the player most likely to be used as trade bait; however according to reports, Schenn will likely not be traded by the Leafs.

A deal such as Schenn for van Riemsdyk will have to include a bit more going Toronto's way as Schenn is the more proven commodity, and likely the player needed more. But again, reports state Schenn is likely not included in the trade talks.

That leads me to believe a player like Carl Gunnarsson, Nikolai Kulemin, Clarke MacArthur and even Nazem Kadri may get mentioned here.

JVR this season has scored 11 goals and added 11 assists in 36 games this season. As for Schenn, he leads the Leafs in hits and the defensive corps in plus/minus at plus-seven.

The Leafs appear to be the team to watch as we approach the NHL trade deadline. According to general manager Brian Burke, when asked if the Leafs would like to deal their first-round pick, he stated "Where's the phone?"

Needless to say, Leaf fans, keep a close eye on this trade rumor because acquiring van Riemsdyk appears more likely than trading for the big names that could be available such as Eric Staal, Bobby Ryan, Zach Parise or Ryan Getzlaf.