There’s plenty of issues the Flyers have to address this offseason, but none more expensive than the fate of James Van Riemsdyk. Entering the last season of his contract that pays him $7 million, it’s pretty clear he has overstayed his welcome in Philly and the team will probably try and move him to clear space for changes elsewhere on the roster.
In the past, we’ve looked at different options to get rid of the last year of his contract, including a buyout or a possible trade with salary retained. A buyout isn’t cheap, costing them $4.3 in dead space next season, and retaining half of his salary means there’s still $3.5 million on the books. Both options give the Flyers a slight bit of breathing room, but neither are perfect “rip the bandaid off” moves.
Well, what if they just go for a straight salary dump? The Coyotes, Sabres and Kraken are among the rumored team interested in taking on contracts in exchange for assets.
“But Daniel” I hear you yell at your screen, “Didn’t they learn their lesson from the Gostisbehere dump last summer?”
The answer is both yes and no. The Flyers parted ways with a second round pick for the Coyotes to eat the remaining two years and $9 million left on Ghost’s contract. So trading an older, more useless, more expensive player will probably cost more, right?
But what if they can get out of that deal without actually losing anything?
The Flyers themselves are going to be seller on deadline day, potentially parting ways with such players as Justin Braun, Derick Brassard, and Martin Jones among others. Those depth players will probably be dealt for a handful of draft picks, probably multiple third rounders and maybe even a second.
Say they land a second rounder for Braun, a third rounder for Jones and a fourth rounder for Brassard. What if they just package those picks with James Van Riemsdyk to send him to Arizona? The Flyers don’t technically lose any assets as they’re just assorted picks from scrap players, but they can get rid of James Van Riemdyk’s $7 million cap hit in full.
Yeah, they should probably be stocking up on draft picks, especially in 2023, but the Flyers still have Claude Giroux and Rasmus Ristolainen to trade, which will probably be where the bulk of the good assets come from anyway such as first round picks and potentially top prospects as well.
$7 million is a lot of money to play with during an offseason where the winds of change are going to be blowing hard. Only managing to salvage a fraction of that just isn’t going to be good enough to give the team the facelift it desperately needs, thus this plan may be the best and most creative way to move on from the human traffic cone.
Food for thought.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: si.com