NHL Trade Speculation: Deal Still in Place Between Philadelphia and Toronto?

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NHL Trade Speculation: Deal Still in Place Between Philadelphia and Toronto?
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Just days ago, rumors were spreading like wildfire that the Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs were in trade discussions that would have seen Philadelphia send former second overall pick James van Riemsdyk to Toronto in exchange for promising young defenseman Luke Schenn.

Almost as quickly as the rumors started circulating, they were shot down once it was learned that James was suffering from a concussion, sustained during a recent game against the Ottawa Senators.

At first glance, it almost appeared as though the Flyers were attempting to deflect the attention away from the situation, using a "smokescreen" of sorts. While I think it may be a bit unethical to use a concussion as a smokescreen, I certainly wouldn't put it past Paul Holmgren. 

I keep going back to summer, when Paul Holmgren was adamant when he said that Jeff Carter would not be traded, after multiple reports had stated there was a deal in the works. Of course, we all know how that ended up.

Days later, Carter was traded and now he's wearing a blue jersey instead of an orange one. Not only that, but Mike Richards was also traded, something that no Philly fan thought was even possible.

Even with JvR now out of the lineup, something doesn't seem right. James was still seen at practice Monday morning, although he didn't stick around for very long before he left the ice. I also found it peculiar how James responded to a question Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly asked him.

Is Philly still working a deal with Toronto?

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"I asked him why he was leaving skate and he just smiled," Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) tweeted just a few days ago after the morning skate. Maybe I'm reading a bit far into it, but that wasn't the response I'd expect from a player of his importance to the team. 

Even with everything that has happened over the past few days, the rumors in Toronto have not slowed down a bit. There is still speculation surrounding Toronto right now, and it looks as though it won't be much longer before Brian Burke pulls the trigger on a trade. Could the Flyers still be the team involved?

Is it possible that James' concussion is not as serious as we initially believed? Perhaps Toronto is simply waiting for some type of medical clearance or report on James before finalizing a deal? To me, this is still very much a real possibility.

James van Riemsdyk is exactly what Brian Burke is looking for. A talented winger with size, and skill to match. Oh yeah, and he's American. We all know how much Burkie likes his American players.

Even though he's had a tough season this year battling through injuries, he still has plenty of upside and would benefit from playing alongside the likes of Lupul and Kessel.

I don't expect it will be much longer before we hear Toronto pull the trigger, even if it isn't with Philly.

So, what do you think about all this? Could Philly still be involved?

Follow me on twitter @ManayunkMike for the latest news, rumors, and more!

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