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Golden Knights Trade Talk

Golden Knights Could Be Suitor For James van Riemsdyk

The NHL's Holiday roster freeze is over and all NHL teams, including the Vegas Golden Knights are allowed to make moves once more….



The NHL's Holiday roster freeze is over and all NHL teams, including the Vegas Golden Knights are allowed to make moves once more. For the VGK, they are in desperate need of depth forwards. They were having issues finding a consistent third line even before Jack Eichel, Jonathan Marchessault, Brett Howden, and Paul Cotter were injured. 

Injuries again forced coach Bruce Cassidy to put his line combinations in the blender against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.

Adding a forward at the NHL Trade Deadline, if not sooner, might be a remedy for the Golden Knight's depth issues. Philadelphia Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk is one of the top names available on the NHL trade market and could be a suitable Golden Knights trade target.

JVR Overview

van Riemsdyk is a 33-year-old winger and pending unrestricted free agent with the struggling Flyers. He has five goals and eight assists for 13 points in 15 games this season. JVR has been around the block in the NHL and is close to playing in his 900th career NHL game. He and Phil Kessel had a few good years together with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Flyers have already made it clear that JVR is available as he is coming to the end of a five-year $7 million AAV contract. The eleven-win Philadelphia Flyers will be in a position to sell at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline. GM Chuck Fletcher is listening to offers on van Riemsdyk according to Jeff Marek.

“The Philadelphia Flyers have made him available,” Marek said. “The actual cash here is $5 million (and) $1 million has already been paid as a bonus going back to last summer. The cap hit is $7 million … and the Flyers could eat some of that as well to make it more palatable for a team looking at James van Riemsdyk," said Marek, who added that JVR would be a good fit for a team looking for power-play help and depth scoring.

Golden Knights Case

Any playoff-bound team looking for depth scoring would benefit from van Riemsdyk's services, including the Golden Knights. JVR has never played on a Western Conference team, but does have connections in the VGK organization with Kessel and Nolan Patrick. His brother Trevor was also an original VGK expansion pick.

JVR could be a valuable rental addition to the Golden Knights struggling third line and also to the team's powerplay units.

Managing the Cap

The cesspool of injuries to the Golden Knights will make it hard for general manager Kelly McCrimmon to figure out how much leverage he has with the NHL salary cap. It would be highly unlikely for the Golden Knights to take on JVR's full $7 million cap hit.

Brett Howden and Zach Whitecloud are the two active players on the Golden Knights roster who are on LTIR, which combined with Robin Lehner, Nolan Patrick, and Shea Weber, give the VGK $18 million in salary cap relief. Knowing the return timetables of both Howden and Whitecloud will be critical.

Jack Eichel, Paul Cotter, Jonathan Marchessault, Alec Martinez, and Shea Theodore are all on standard IR for the Golden Knights. But also knowing a rough timetable for when these players can return will help head coach Bruce Cassidy adjust his line combinations accordingly.


JVR is not having as flashy of a season as also rumored to be traded player Bo Horvat, but he will still fetch a high price for the re-tooling Flyers.

With many hoops having to be juggled for JVR to become a Golden Knight before McCrimmon and Fletcher can even talk an asking price, the chances of this deal happening seems to be low.

Regardless, no matter what team the Flyers inevitably trade JVR to, I think a first round pick and a prospect will be the starting asking price. Having the Flyers retain half of JVR's salary ($3,500,000) would only make the price go up even further.

This is purely speculative but a mock trade for the Golden Knights would be: Kaedan Korczak, Zach Dean, a 2022 first-round pick and Laurent Brossoit for James van Riemsdyk at half-salary retained. 

This then gets us to the prospect paradox conversation, as the Golden Knights are lacking NHL-ready prospects to fill out-their bottom six. But to get a better bottom six, they have to continue to trade out prospects who could develop into stars in the future.

Potential Healthy Golden Knights Lineup With JVR

Paul Cotter- Jack Eichel- Mark Stone

Reilly Smith- William Karlsson- Jonathan Marchessault

James van Riemsdyk- Chandler Stephenson- Phil Kessel

Will Carrier- Nicolas Roy- Keegan Kolesar