Philadelphia’s been in the middle of numerous trade rumors, and a name that continually pops up is that of forward James van Riemsdyk.
The 22-year-old signed a six-year, $25.5 million extension with the Flyers in August — suggesting he’d like to stay in Philly for the long haul — but with a no-trade clause that doesn’t kick in until 2016 and a world of potential, JVR is one of Philly’s most moveable (and cherished) assets.
Not that he wants to be moved, of course.
“This is where I want to be,” van Riemsdyk told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Obviously, I like all the guys on the team. I just want to play my game and focus on hockey and what I can control.
“Coming back from an injury, I just want to play consistently. Just play as well as I can and the rest will take care of itself.”
van Riemsdyk missed over a month with a concussion and only recently returned to the Philly lineup, playing the last two games against Pittsburgh and Winnipeg, looking no worse for wear. He posted two assists and 10 shots on goal (seven against the Jets) while averaging 15 minutes a night, playing with Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds.
The third-year pro stands 6-foot-3, 200-pounds and has shown flashes of superstar potential, mixed with maddening bouts of listlessness. He finished second on the team in game-winning goals last year, then broke through in the playoffs with seven goals in 11 games…but has run afoul of head coach Peter Laviolette this season.
van Riemsdyk’s been linked to a number of teams — Toronto being chief among them — and there’s a belief he’s become expendable given Philly’s surplus of youth (Schenn, Simmonds, Sean Couturier, Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux are all 24 or younger.)
By Marian Gaborik‘s often-fragile standards, he’s been relatively sturdy as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
Still, few should be shocked when they hear of a lower-body injury for the veteran winger. In this case, it’s serious enough to land him on injured reserve, as the team announced on Saturday.
Gaborik had a bumpy time with zero points from Jan. 9-23, but he’s been more productive lately, scoring five points in his past seven contests.
And, again, it was an unusually healthy run for Gaborik:
LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen indicates that Gaborik was placed on IR in part so that the Kings could make room for Peter Budaj.
Update: The Minnesota Wild made it official. Still no word yet on a replacement.
It looks like the Minnesota Wild have no love left for Mike Yeo on Valentine’s Day weekend.
Apparently an eighth consecutive loss (falling to the Boston Bruins) was the final straw, as Yeo has been fired, according to Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press and Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Yeo confirmed as much via text (pauses for comment about this being a strange time for us all) to Russo:
The Wild haven’t made an official announcement yet. The writing certainly seemed to be on the wall with Graff reporting that there were especially long meetings between Minnesota management and Yeo after today’s loss to Boston.
Yeo mentioned that he wouldn’t quit following the game.
One big question remains: is GM Chuck Fletcher safe to work the trade deadline or will there be sweeping changes for the struggling Wild?
Also: who coaches them going forward? Will an assistant be bumped up to interim head coach or will the franchise go to someone looking for a gig? Perhaps this option …
Who knows, really. PHT will keep you up to date either way.
/paging Jacques Lemaire …
The Carolina Hurricanes probably can save a few ice buckets tonight, as the New York Islanders will be without winger Cal Clutterbuck.
The Isles announced that Clutterbuck won’t play on Saturday because of an illness. Their next game is against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday, and then they don’t suit up again until Thursday, so Clutterbuck’s sickness may not be too much of a nuisance.
According to Yahoo’s numbers, the amusingly named forward has delivered 55 hits in 14 career games against the Canes (not to mention a solid five points).
Matt Martin‘s among the most frequent hitters in the league, too, so it’s not like the Hurricanes will leave tonight’s game totally unscathed.
Here are the Islanders’ tweaked forward lines:
If the Minnesota Wild want to make a coaching change, it sounds like Mike Yeo won’t make it easy for them by stepping down.
“I’m not freaking quitting here,” Yeo said to reporters including the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo.
It also sounds like Yeo realizes that Minnesota’s morbid losing streak – now at a worrisome eight games – may very well cost him his job.
The scene sounded pretty somber after today’s loss to the Boston Bruins, and not in your usual way.
Firing Yeo would be a big step for the Wild, even more than usual, as he began his coaching stint in 2011. GM Chuck Fletcher was hired in 2009, so the two have been attached at the hip since then.
(And they got to know each other well in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.)
Will one or both be gone, possibly in the near future? Even Yeo admits big changes can happen.
Wild players, meanwhile, just seem beaten down … and maybe ambivalent about Yeo?