NHL trade deadline: James van Riemsdyk stays with Flyers after reported Red Wings deal fizzles out

The NHL trade deadline came to a strange close with James van Riemsdyk ultimately staying put in Philadelphia.

Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk ended up staying put in Philadelphia on Friday in a strange series of events that unfolded minutes before the NHL trade deadline.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported a deal was in place to send van Riemsdyk to the Detroit Red Wings, but that agreement quickly fell through.

Van Riemsdyk hasn't quite been able to recapture his normal scoring touch from years past, recording nine goals in 41 games for the Flyers in 2022-23. The 33-year-old underwent finger surgery at the end of October, which caused him to miss more than a month of action.

The native of New Jersey is in the final season of a five-year, $35-million contract ($7-million cap hit) he signed with the Flyers in 2018. He was drafted by Philadelphia with the second-overall pick in the 2007 draft. He broke out as a perennial 20-goal threat as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, spending six years with the franchise before signing back with Philadelphia as a free agent.

James van Riemsdyk didn't get traded after all. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
James van Riemsdyk didn't get traded after all. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Philadelphia already has its sights set on the draft lottery, currently sitting in seventh place in the competitive Metropolitan Division. Not being able to recoup an asset for a veteran on an expiring contract is undoubtedly a disappointment for Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher.

Fletcher said he didn't receive a "firm offer" from any team about a van Riemsdyk trade, and that he only discussed a framework for a deal with one team (presumably the Red Wings), according to TSN and The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun. The trade would have been contingent on the other team making another move, which did not come to fruition.

Even without adding van Riemsdyk, the Red Wings were busy leading up to the deadline. They traded Jakub Vrana to the St. Louis Blues on Friday and sent defenseman Filip Hronek to the Vancouver Canucks earlier in the week. Detroit also re-signed captain Dylan Larkin to an eight-year contract extension on Wednesday.