Remember those Dougie-Hamilton-to-Toronto trade rumors Brian Burke shot down last week? Well, in case you don’t, a refresher:
The Leafs, reportedly in the market for a defenseman, were reportedly willing to part with a winger — a position Calgary is looking to upgrade — which led many to speculate on a Hamilton-for-William Nylander swap.
Or, a Hamiton-for-James van Riemsdyk deal.
This week, JVR responded to the banter.
“You don’t really worry about it too much,” he said, per the Toronto Sun. “(Blocking it out) comes from experience.
“It tends to eat at you a little bit more (when you’re younger), but now you realize it is completely out of your control and it does not really faze you as much.”
Van Riemsdyk, who leads the Leafs with 11 goals and 20 points through 24 games this year, is fairly tantalizing as far as potential additions go. He’s on a good contract (two years left at $4.25 million per) and has been a pretty consistent scorer for the Leafs, which included a career-high 30 goals in ’13-14.
At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, he’s got solid size and has long been viewed as one of the better power forwards going.
This, of course, is the exact reason why Toronto would want to keep van Riemsdyk. It’s important to remember that he only turned 27 in May, and could easily be a part of the core group of Nylander, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Morgan Rielly, Nazem Kadri et al.