On Saturday, the Flyers ended the continuous rumors and traded winger James van Riemsdyk to the Toronto Maple Leafs for defenseman Luke Schenn. The two teams have been in talks about a trade involoving these two pieces "since the winter", according to Paul Holmgren.
So why does this trade work? Here's why:
- Needs- Toronto needed a big forward, while the Flyers needed a big, right handed defenseman. Luke Schenn is 6'2, 229lbs, and like we said he is in fact a right handed shot. As for JVR, he is a 6'3, 200lb winger, something the Leafs desperately needed.
- Fresh Starts- JVR was under the shadow of Patrick Kane ever since the 2007 draft. Due to injuries, van Riemsdyk was never really able to live up to his potential here in Philadelphia. Luke Schenn was also under the heat lamps in Toronto, as he was selected 5th overall in the 2008 draft. With both players constantly in trade rumors, they both needed a change of scenery.
- Cap Reasons- Luke Schenn is under contract until the 2015-2016 season, which he will then become an unrestricted free agent. Schenn's yearly cap hit is $3.6 million. JVR is signed until the 2017-2018 season, which he will then become an unrestricted free agent. van Riemsdyk's cap hit is $4.25 per year.
- Available Cap Space- According to CapGeek.com, Toronto now has close to $13 million in cap space, $12,946,667 to be exact. The Flyers now have a little less than $12 million in cap space, before any player (Chris Pronger) is put on injured reserve. The Flyers have exactly $11,481,627 in available cap space. Both clubs have very aggressive general managers, and they are both looking to make a push at some top free agents come July 1st.
- Brothely Love- With the addition of Luke Schenn, the Flyers now have both Schenn brothers. To me, this can only motivate both of these guys.
When James van Reimsdyk was at his finest, he was a player who was strong with the puck, and a guy the opposition hates. His size and speed was something the opposing teams struggled with. Luke Schenn is a strong defenseman who keeps getting better, and is surely about to hit his prime in my opinion. This is one of those trades that actually should pay off for both clubs. The trades fills voids, while setting the team up to make potential signings once free agency hits. Both Flyers fans and Leafs fans are getting something special, we should all be happy with this move.