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Former Flyers Standout Having Excellent Season With Bruins

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Former Philadelphia Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk is quietly having an excellent season for the Boston Bruins. (Photo: AP)

If you can believe it, it was nearly a year ago that former Philadelphia Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk was supposed to be one of the hottest names on the NHL trade market.

van Riemsdyk was in the fifth and final year of his second stint with the Flyers, though former Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher failed to find a trade partner willing to bring ‘JVR’ aboard. Philadelphia managed to get no assets in return for the pending free agent, and the rest is history, as they say.

The Flyers’ No. 2 pick in the 2007 NHL Draft instead left Philadelphia for a second time, quietly signing with the Boston Bruins on a one-year deal worth $1 million. It was the perfect move for a cash-strapped Bruins team attempting to contend for a Stanley Cup, even after the retirements of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.

So far, Boston’s investment is paying off. van Riemsdyk is quietly up to nine goals after scoring against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night and has 25 assists to pair with that, giving him a total of 34 points in 49 games. Not to mention, the 34-year-old had one goal and two assists against his old Flyers right before the All-Star break.

Despite van Riemsdyk’s success with the Bruins, it’s hard to argue the Flyers’ decision to let him walk in the summer. Head coach John Tortorella has spoken to great length about the improvement of the health of the locker room, and how some personalities were too suffocating. van Riemsdyk, Kevin Hayes, and Ivan Provorov, among others, were jettisoned.

That has allowed for significant growth from young players like Owen Tippett, Morgan Frost, Tyson Foerster, Cam York, Sam Ersson, and more.

van Riemsdyk spent eight total years with the Flyers, scoring 146 goals, 151 assists, and 297 points across 527 games. In four postseason campaigns with the Orange and Black, he managed only 13 goals and seven assists in 51 games.

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