James van Riemsdyk is mentioned in trade rumors about as often as Ilya Bryzgalov is referred to as "eccentric."
The latest JVR tease: That he would be part of a Philadelphia Flyers' package for Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets this summer … if only he were healthy.
Howard Eskin of SportsRadio WIP and NBC 10 in Philadelphia — a conversation starter, if not always an accurate source — reported on Sunday night that van Riemsdyk is "delaying having surgery torn labrum" and that a "possible" trade for Nash can't happen until JVR is 100-percent healthy. But the real point of contention:
That van Riemsdyk is "delaying having surgery" to hold up the trade.
Here come the denials.
On Monday morning, the Philadelphia Flyers and a source from the Columbus Blue Jackets offered their denials on the matter to Sarah Baicker of CSN Philly and Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch:
So … smells a little bogus with that foot news, no?
JVR signed a 6-year deal worth $4.25 million annually last August, before having what could kindly be called a "challenging" 2011-12 season, with both a concussion and a broken foot muddying the second half of the campaign. Still, with 24 points in 43 games, including 11 goals, van Riemsdyk posted his best points per game average (0.56) in his 3-year NHL career.
His age (23), talent and long-term deal made his an attractive target at the deadline and would seemingly make him a cornerstone if the Flyers went after Nash. Joe Yerdon of NBC sees a package that would include Sergei Bobrovsky and picks.
We'd love to see Scott Howson arch and eyebrow, glare at Holmgren and say, "Couturier or no Nash, sir." You know, just for the drama of it all.