NHL Trade Rumors: Maple Leafs Must Acquire James Van Riemsdyk from Flyers
There's no doubt Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke is a fan of Philadelphia Flyers winger James Van Riemsdyk, and according to TSN's Darren Dreger, Burke might make another run at acquiring the American star.
Dreger said that the Maple Leafs are "desperate to make a deal," while also adding, "Trust me when I tell you, Toronto's going to take another run at James van Riemsdyk."
Should Burke acquire JVR before the deadline?
With the two teams reportedly having talked about Van Riemsdyk a few weeks ago, it would not be surprising if these discussions were re-opened.
The Flyers desperately need another quality defenseman with captain Chris Pronger lost for the season due to injury, and they have several talented offensive players such as Van Riemsdyk to offer teams with good defensive depth.
The Leafs just so happen to have some nice defensive depth and prospects to offer Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren for JVR.
Young defenseman Luke Schenn is a very talented player and is a physical presence that would fit in nicely with the Flyers. Many think Schenn is untouchable because of his talent, potential and manageable contract, but the return Burke could get for his young blueliner could be immense.
Consider this: With the Nashville Predators appearing unwilling to trade upcoming free-agent defenseman Ryan Suter before the February 27 deadline, the Leafs now have the most attractive d-man in Schenn to offer desperate contenders who will overpay to acquire him.
While the Leafs would need to offer much more than Schenn to acquire big-name offensive stars such as Ryan Getzlaf, Eric Staal and Rick Nash, a deal for Van Riemsdyk likely wouldn't cost Burke more than Schenn.
When you look at a straight-up swap of 22-year-old players, Schenn for Van Riemsdyk makes sense for both clubs.
The Flyers get a very good defenseman who can star with the team for a long time, and he has four more years left on the contract he signed this past summer with a salary cap hit of just $3.6 million. The Leafs would be getting a talented young forward who has great potential with a friendly cap hit of $4.25 million for the next six seasons.
Not only is JVR a young star with great potential, he has already shown he can be a strong performer in the playoffs. Against the Bruins in last year's Eastern Semifinals (see video below) he was tremendous.
In this trade, Philly would find the defenseman they need to make another run to the Stanley Cup Final, and Toronto acquires one of the better young offensive players in hockey—there aren't many reasons this trade wouldn't be a win for both teams.
The Maple Leafs need to make the playoffs this season because they have spent many years building a quality roster with no postseason play to show for it. The playoff drought has to end this season, or big changes will be made.
Toronto's No. 1 need is a top-line center, but the price to acquire one is too much to pay right now, so they must find another way to improve the offense. Acquiring James Van Riemsdyk would help the Maple Leafs now and years into the future.
A straight-up swap of Schenn and Van Riemsdyk makes too much sense for both teams not to get it done.
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