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This Veteran Flyers Forward Seems to Know Trade is Imminent



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Photo: AP.

Philadelphia Flyers left winger James van Riemsdyk was candid when talking about the trade rumors surrounding a certain member of his team.

That player is him.

Maybe it won’t happen in the next few weeks, but van Riemsdyk, 33, seems resigned to the fact that, before the March 3 trade deadline, there’s a good chance he will be with another team.

“At this point, you’re more of a realist when it comes to situations (like this),” van Riemsdyk said on Monday. “… Anytime you’re in the last year of your contract, things like this can be talked about. I don’t know which way this is going to go, or not go. It’s easier said than done sometimes, but obviously you focus on each day.”

To his credit, van Riemsdyk is having a quality season, one that should net the Philadelphia Flyers a very good draft pick when/if he is dealt. He missed about six weeks because of finger surgery, but has played very well before and after the injury, collecting 11 points (five goals, six assists) and a plus-3 rating in 12 games.

Despite the Flyers having another dismal season, van Riemsdyk likes playing in Philadelphia, which isn’t far from his Central Jersey roots, and new coach John Tortorella.

Getting things ‘reset’

“I love being here. I love the the group we have,” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed playing for Torts. I think he’s done a good job as far as getting some things reset and the direction they need to go to. I think you can see it in the way we’re playing. Maybe the results aren’t where we’d like them to be, but we’re right there in a lot of these games and just have to find a way to punch ourselves through and get some (better) results.”

As far as a trade, Van Riemsdyk said he’s “just trying to control the things I can control, the day to day stuff.”

Would he welcome playing for a Stanley Cup contender?

“Ultimately, the thing that drives me is wanting to win, so ideally, yeah, you want to find a situation (like that). … Obviously, that’s what drives me every summer, to be honest. Every day that I’m preparing myself — you want to have a chance to win. But there’s also a process of focusing on things in front of you in the day to day.

“At this point, I know these are realistic thoughts, and people are trying to put two and two together — last year of your contract, where we’re at in the standings — so these things get talked about.”

Reunited with Hexy?

Maybe he’ll end up in Pittsburgh and get reunited with Penguins GM Ron Hextall, who signed him to a five-year, $35 million deal with the Flyers on July 1, 2018.

Maybe he’ll end up in Washington and be teammates with his brother, Trevor.

Maybe the New York Rangers, his favorite team as a youngster, will come calling.

Or maybe he’ll be dealt to another Cup contender.

Wherever he ends up, van Riemsdyk will bring a workmanlike, positive attitude — and net-front scoring — that will help a team in need.

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