Aug 312011
 
Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk

Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk just got paid

The Flyers have announced that forward James van Riemsdyk has been signed to a 6-year, $25.5 million contract extension.  The contract will carry an annual cap hit of $4.25 million.

“I couldn’t be happier, obviously,” van Riemsdyk said during a conference call, per csnphilly.com.  “Over the two years I’ve been here, and even prior to that when I was with the organization, I’ve seen how well they treat their players and how highly everyone around it talks about it.

“Even before I signed, Jim Dowd was actually telling me how lucky I was to be coming to the Flyers and how well they treat their players, and I’ve seen that first-hand. When these talks of an extension started to come up, that was in the back of my mind, and I knew this was the place I really wanted to be.”

Van Riemsdyk, still only 22, is now one of the Flyers’ franchise cornerstones with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter recently sent packing.  It’s a great move to lock up one of their core young players in the face of so much change.  The former number two overall pick would have been a restricted free agent agent after this coming season.

“That’s something I’ve always been all about,” van Riemsdyk said regarding the team’s continued success. “I went through that, talking about that with my agent. Obviously, you want to make a good living doing what you love to do, but at the same time you want to be in a great place like Philadelphia that wants you to be here, and not only that but be a part of a great team.

“Obviously, with the salary cap, there are some constraints on what teams can do. I think it’s a very fair deal for both sides and I’m happy to be committed here for the next six years.”

Along with Claude Giroux, who last year signed an extension himself, the Flyers have a couple of young players on the verge of stardom and it’s good to see the team commit to the long term success of the organization.

In 75 games last season, van Riemsdyk had 21 goals and 19 assists for 40 points, adding seven more goals over 11 postseason games.  With his best hockey still ahead of him Van Riemsdyk could develop into one of the more dynamic wingers in the NHL.  And being so young he’s going to get paid again if he stays healthy and improves his consistency.

For now, his deal is not quite the package that Michael Vick just got, but if JVR continues to improve (and maybe takes up slapshotting kitties into furnaces) he can add a few zeroes after this one’s up.

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