James van Riemsdyk receives a five-year, $35 million ($7 million AAV) contract from the Flyers, carrying him through the 2022-23 season. The 29-year old will be turning 34 at the end of this deal.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be coming back to Philadelphia. They have a great thing in place and I’m happy to be a part of that now and I’m looking forward to getting on the ice,” van Riemsdyk said.
The Flyers originally drafted van Riemsdyk with the second pick in the 2007 NHL Draft. He started his career in Philadelphia, registering 99 points in 196 games over the course of three seasons before being traded to Toronto. Now he is coming back to Philadelphia with the Flyers’ Stanley Cup window opening wide again.
Van Riemsdyk had 36 goals and 18 assists for 54 points in 81 games last season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He has averaged 27 goals over the last five seasons, and that includes one season where he only played in 40 games. If you take out that season (2015-16), he has averaged 30.5 goals over the other four seasons. He was one of the best free agents on the market for a reason.
Ron Hextall has been methodically maneuvering the Flyers into a position where they will be able to compete at a high level for a long period of time. We have seen glimpses of it over the past few years, but this move signifies that he thinks the team is ready for the next step. His five-year plan is in year five, and the time is now.
Hextall has made the first move of the offseason, but there could be more to come. The Flyers still have plenty of cap space and could use another center or defenseman off the free agent market.
Welcome back to Philly, JVR!
(Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
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