The biggest name left on trade deadline day might have been James van Riemsdyk, and there was a race between several teams for his services. That race appeared to be over as Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported that the Detroit Red Wings would land the Philadelphia Flyers forward, pending a physical and trade call.
Darren Dreger of TSN noted that the trade required the Red Wings to move another player first, and now the agreement has seemingly collapsed. Friedman tweets that “something happened,” and the deal has been pulled back. Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff reports that no van Riemsdyk trade is coming today.
It is a pretty significant opportunity missed for the Flyers, who will now hold onto the veteran forward through the end of the season. In the final season of a five-year, $35MM contract, the 33-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. While some of the other teams involved in trade discussions might not have been offering what the Flyers wanted, they’re now stuck with nothing to show for van Riemsdyk’s expiring contract.
For a club struggling to stay competitive, missing out on even a late-round pick at this point in the year will sting. The outcome, though, might have more to do with van Riemsdyk’s declining effectiveness more than anything. The big winger has just nine goals and 23 points on the season, the worst per-game scoring rate of his career. After more than a decade of being one of the league’s premiere net-front players, perhaps his time in the league is dwindling.