NASHVILLE -- James van Riemsdyk was walking out of Bridgestone Arena this morning about 45 minutes before the team was scheduled to go onto the ice for its morning skate.
Where you going? a reporter asked.
The 22-year-old just smiled and kept walking.
Turns out, the Flyers forward, who has 11 goals and 22 points, has a concussion and will be out indefinitely, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.
Van Riemsdyk is the fifth Flyer concussed this season, joining Matt Read, Chris Pronger, Brayden Schenn and Claude Giroux. Sean Couturier had a head injury, too, but was not concussed.
James was hit in the head in each of our last two games, Holmgren said in a statement. He reported yesterday not feeling like himself. He will be out indefinitely with a concussion.
Actually, several players say they believe JVR was initially first struck in the head by Ottawa winger Bobby Butler at Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 7 four games ago.
JVR seemed to be getting back into a groove on a new unit with Schenn and Wayne Simmonds. Now that line adjusts with Read replacing him.
Its unfortunate it happened, I actually like the way he was moving on that line, said coach Peter Laviolette of JVR.
I like the way it was moving. When guys come out, its a setback for them and a setback for the team.
Now Zac Rinaldo comes back in the lineup and brings his energy. Well move other lines around a bit. Weve been through it before and well get through this.
Laviolette said he wasnt sure if hes had even one game this season where he had a fully, healthy lineup without an injury somewhere.
Somebody has been on the injured list or injured reserve the entire year, he said. Thats part of hockey and it is what it is and you deal with it.
Laviolette added he could not be certain which hit injured JVR other than, he got hit a couple of times and we did see some things.
Rinaldo, Danny Briere and Simmonds all said they remember the Butler hit on JVR in Philly, but couldnt swear that was the one that did the most damage.
These concussion seem to be coming out of nowhere, Rinaldo said. Theyre creeping up on guys.
JVR made a point of saying something about the Butler hit during the Flyers' 3-2 overtime win.
Butler clipped him at home, Briere said. Besides that one, I dont remember. We get hit in the head all the time, but it starts with one, big hit. You see that Sidney Crosby is a perfect example.
He gets clipped in the head and after that, all the battles, you get hit in the head somehow and then you see it even more after.
JVR had two goals and an assist in five games with Schenns unit.
I thought weve had some good chemistry me, him and Schenner and playing well the last couple of weeks, Simmonds said. Its unfortunate.
Simmonds said he initially thought that JVR took a high-stick in the second game against Ottawa when talking to Schenn this morning until reminded about the Butler hit on home ice.
It was during that play and he was fine for a couple of days and then, I dont know, its a real tricky thing, Simmonds said. You have to be careful with them. Sometimes they sneak up on you.
Read last played with Simmonds on a line with Briere during the entire month of December.
Reader is a great player, obviously, and has done wonders with us this year, Simmonds said of the swing-forward, who will play in the skills competition at this years All-Star Game in Ottawa.
Its fun to play with him. Ive played with him a couple of times this year. Hes great with the puck. He makes those little plays with guys open. I think well be fine.
Rinaldo is back after being a healthy scratch the last two games. Ive kept positive and Im gonna keep banging bodies and do what I do best, Rinaldo said. Couturier is expected to center Rinaldo and Harry Zolnierczyk. ... Ilya Bryzgalov is back in goal. Laviolette said he had planned to use Sergei Bobrovsky at the Island because of how well he played there in November and that the struggling Bryzgalov was penciled in for Nashville all along as part of his rotation.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at firstname.lastname@example.org