The Flyers approached Friday’s NHL trade deadline with essentially one thing to accomplish: trade James van Riemsdyk, who is on pace for 18 goals this year and whose contract expires after this season, for literally no whatever. Any other move would be gravy.
Ideally, they wanted to maximize van Riemsdyk’s value as a veteran contributor heading into a playoff contender, a still capable scorer who could return a midfield draft pick this year or next. But no matter what, you had to get something in exchange for a reasonable coin.
People, they didn’t do that.
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The 3:00 p.m. deadline came and went, and van Riemsdyk remained on the team. After this season, he will be a free agent and the Flyers could lose him for nothing.
Unsurprisingly, Flyers fans seemed to be reaching a breaking point with van Riemsdyk’s inaction – particularly after an apparent deal with the Red Wings came to fruition and then fell through – and took to Twitter to express their frustration:
Yeah, so they don’t look too happy.
It’s not Chuck Fletcher’s finest hour, and his four-plus-year tenure as Flyers general manager hasn’t moved in the right direction. Between Shayne Gostisbehere’s baffling trade, his decision to trade and then extend Rasmus Ristolainen, Tony DeAngelo’s uncertain decision, and now the whiff of Friday on a van Riemsdyk deal, the swings and failures are piling up against him.
The Flyers have the third fewest points in the Eastern Conference and eighth fewest in the National Hockey League with 20 games left in the season. It’ll be a grind to the finish line, and the organization is definitely facing an uphill battle this offseason and into the next few years.