They aren’t the only ones.
“To go to a place like Toronto is unbelievably exciting for me… It’s basically like playing for the NY Yankees of the NHL,” van Riemsdyk said, according to the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle.
Well, yes, if the New York Yankees constantly struggled to even make the playoffs and hadn’t won a World Series since Lyndon B. Johnson was President.
Still, the Maple Leafs do have a huge fanbase that can be very harsh to players that don’t live up to their expectations. That might be of particular concern to a guy like van Riemsdyk, who has plenty of promise, but hasn’t broken out yet.
It’s encouraging to hear that van Riemsdyk is excited about what life in Toronto might bring and given that the Philadelphia Flyers have a passionate fanbase too, he should already have a good idea of what he’s getting into. The Leafs are expected to give him a big role in 2012-13 and there’s plenty of reasons to believe he will succeed.