Flyers GM – Red Wings cancel James van Riemsdyk trade in the 11th hour

Greg WyshynskiESPN2 minute read

James van Riemsdyk was heading to the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL trade deadline — until he wasn’t.

On a fairly calm expiry day on Friday, one of the biggest moves that caught the eye was the one that didn’t happen. Reportedly, the Philadelphia Flyers were trading van Riemsdyk, a veteran winger, to the Red Wings. But van Riemsdyk was not traded to Detroit or anywhere else by the 3 p.m. ET deadline. He remains with the Flyers ahead of unrestricted free agency this summer.

According to Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher, the two teams had agreed to a trade that would have sent van Riemsdyk to Detroit for a draft pick, with Philadelphia retaining part of its $7 million cap. But the deal was conditional on the Red Wings trading a forward from their roster to make room for van Riemsdyk. When that didn’t happen, the whole deal was scuttled.

“They had a concept that if they were able to move a striker out of their team, then they had better acquire JVR,” said Fletcher, who said he was told the deal was off 20 minutes before the trade deadline. “All along it was contingent on the other trade going through and eventually the other trade failing.”

Van Riemsdyk was one of the biggest names still available on Friday. In his 14th season, he has 297 career goals and 23 points in 41 games this season. The Flyers viewed him as a rental veteran who could help a contending team. Fletcher was surprised there was no market for van Riemsdyk.

“The only offer I got for JVR was at 1:40 this afternoon, and it was a conditional offer,” he said. “I didn’t know what the market might be, but I thought there would be at least a few offers that we should consider.”

Fletcher said he has spoken with all NHL teams about acquiring van Riemsdyk, not just so the Flyers can salvage assets for him, but in the hopes of having the veteran winger on a team in the NHL. playoffs. But he said “every team told us ‘no’ many times” before the Red Wings came to the table.

“There’s no hard evidence here,” Fletcher said. “We certainly let everyone know he was available. We let everyone know we would keep 50 per cent (of his hit cap). We let everyone know we would take over a contract if that could help. We talked about all the kids from different scenarios. I can’t just control my other half and there has to be a willing buyer. Until 1:40 today we never had any type of offer.

Fletcher said the one thing he wasn’t ready to take back for van Riemsdyk was a player with contract terms beyond this season, unless it was a player who could have helped the Flyers. But he said the market just wasn’t there for a trade.

“Yesterday I received two calls: one on JVR and one on another player. I made 17 (calls),” Fletcher said. “We would have preferred to have a good pick and let JVR play in the playoffs, and the market has spoken.”

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