James van Riemsdyk is glad he’s still a Flyer


There was a time when signing a hefty contract extension signaled that a player was borderline untouchable, but those days are gone. That’s especially true in Philadelphia, where the ink was barely dry on Jeff Carter’s deal before GM Paul Holmgren sent him to Columbus.

With that in mind, one cannot blame James van Riemsdyk if he was sweating the various trade rumors that included his name. The 22-year-old power forward expressed relief to remain with the Flyers while discussing the deadline with CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio.

“Yeah, at the end of the day, I’m happy to still be a Flyer,” Van Riemsdyk said. “I love all the guys we have on the team. We have a great group of guys, not only on the ice, but off the ice, as well. I’m really excited about what we can do together.”

Even so, JVR acknowledged a mindset that if Wayne Gretzky could get traded, then so could he.

It didn’t help that he’s been a bit disappointing considering what seemed like a breakout playoff performance for the burgeoning winger. That’s the danger of trusting the results of a small sample in a contract year, but JVR is young enough that it’s far too early to call the contract an albatross.

Depending upon how you look at it, the Flyers either decided they couldn’t part with the young forward or didn’t find the right deal, but the bottom line is that he can put those rumors behind him.

For now, at least.

Josh Harding could be someone’s answer in goal


While there’s names like Evgeni Nabokov, Nikolai Khabibulin, and Jonathan Bernier floating around as possible goalie trade bait, another name is getting a bit of traction today.

ESPN’s Craig Custance reports that the Minnesota Wild are getting calls on free agent-to-be Josh Harding. The Wild are in a bit of a conundrum, however, as they still need to decide whether they’re going to re-sign him or make a move to deal him away.

Minnesota has an interesting situation in goal as they’ve got high-priced starter Niklas Backstrom slotted away there as well as youngster Matt Hackett in the AHL who could be primed and ready to be a backup at the NHL level right now. It’s a tough but decent spot for GM Chuck Fletcher to be in as Harding could fetch a solid return amongst teams that are in search of goaltending help.

Dreger: Islanders taking offers for P.A. Parenteau


There’s a bit of attention on the Islanders today as they work to get an extension done with Evgeni Nabokov, but another player in need of a new contract at the end of the season is now up for grabs.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the Islanders are now taking trade offers for forward P.A. Parenteau. Parenteau is set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and he’s put up monster numbers this year playing on a line with John Tavares.

With 56 points, 42 via assist, Parenteau has made a nice name for himself as a complementary player. Parenteau has made it a point to say that he doesn’t want to negotiate a new deal during the season thanks to the distractions that offers. That is something that gives the Islanders and GM Garth Snow a reason to pause as his numbers mean that he could garner interest on the open market this summer.

Parenteau wants to stay with the Islanders, but the Isles are clearly trying to protect their own interests. Chris Botta of the New York Times says the Islanders want a first-round pick and a player for Parenteau. Good luck there, Garth.

Report: Rangers are out of the Rick Nash sweepstakes


Ever since it became known that Rick Nash was available for trade, the New York Rangers have been mentioned often as the team most interested in him. With rumored offers floating out there, it appeared that Columbus GM Scott Howson would have at least one team to talk with for their superstar captain.

That’s about to change.

Reports from both Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos and ESPN New York’s Katie Strang say that the price to obtain Nash is too high for Rangers GM Glen Sather and that the Rangers are out of the hunt for the star winger.

With Columbus’ demands being so high, including rumored deals that involved any of Brandon Dubinsky, Michael Del Zotto, Ryan McDonagh, and Tim Erixon, it’s more than understandable why the Rangers might blanch at the thought of such a monstrous package to obtain Nash.

The effect this has on the trade market for Nash now becomes fascinating as the other teams in the hunt now don’t have to worry about the Rangers coming over the top to crush their offers. San Jose, Vancouver, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Nashville are all believed to have interest in Nash but it’s unknown how many of those teams Nash would approve a trade to.

Here’s your latest Rick Nash to the Rangers rumor


Mark Spector of Sportsnet in Canada tweets that talks between the Rangers and Blue Jackets have picked up and that the latest offer is indeed a whopper.

For the Rangers to land Nash, they’d be giving up one of a pair of young defensemen in either Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto as well as a first-round pick and a prospect, namely defenseman Tim Erixon. Spector says that the Rangers feel that offer bests what the Toronto Maple Leafs could offer Columbus and puts them in the driver’s seat to land Nash.

Considering how well both McDonagh and Del Zotto have played this season for New York, the Jackets would be getting an instant young stud on the blue line. Adding Erixon would give them a potential future star as well. The first round pick makes for a nice throw in given that it’ll be a mid-to-late round pick.

The talk of late from The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline is that Nash’s camp is hoping for a quick resolution to things and they’re growing weary of the process. It doesn’t appear the two sides are long for each other. The Jackets aren’t under pressure to get a deal done at the deadline, but it could turn the summer into an endless array of discussions to land Nash if a deal isn’t done by Monday at 3 p.m.