SAN JOSE -- So many times before, Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk had heard the trade rumors.
Headed to Toronto for Luke Schenn. Part of the Rick Nash deal in Columbus. Maybe part of a larger deal that includes a goalie.
You cant be human, athlete or not, and not wonder whether the rumors have some truth behind them.
Its tough not to see some of that stuff, JVR said on Monday as the NHL trade deadline came and went and he was still a Flyer.
Obviously, some of those rumors, especially since we were in Canada last week, thats all there was on TV, (talk) about the trade deadline You dont really know what to think. But at the end of the day, Im still happy to be here.
San Jose, in need of bodies because of injuries, tried hard to get the Flyers to move JVR on Monday.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren has been turning down overtures for the 22-year-old Middletown, N.J. forward for weeks now. Nothing changed Monday, either.
One thing the Flyers proved leading up to and at the trade deadline was that they are committed to their promising, younger players like Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn and JVR.
The Flyers did not lose a single NHL roster player in the two deals they made earlier this month. And they didnt lose one on Monday, either.
JVR admitted he was relieved.
Yeah, at the end of the day, Im happy to still be a Flyer, he said. I love all the guys we have on the team. We have a great group of guys, not only on the ice, but off the ice, as well. Im really excited about what we can do together.
Theres a lot of potential for us to do great things in the postseason. Im happy to still be here. This is the only place Ive ever known.
The trade talk had been around much of the season but especially this past month when JVR was sidelined with a concussion, one of several injuries hes had this season.
Before my first year, my agent Alec Schall told me there were rumors that I would never sign out of college, and he told me that if Wayne Gretzky can get traded, anyone can get traded, van Riemsdyk recalled.
Thats kind of the mindset I have had with all this stuff. I wasnt losing too much sleep over it because a trade can happen to anyone. Although I do love life in Philly and the guys on the team, I do understand that it can happen. Worrying about it too much does not get anything accomplished.
Its completely out of our control as players for all the stuff that happens. You just worry about what you can control. And not let it affect your play on the ice.
To compound his anxiety, the Flyers did not go on the ice at Sharks Ice, a local practice facility the Sharks use, until noon Pacific on Monday, which was 3:00 p.m. Eastern, when the trade deadline ended.
Did JVR wonder when he stepped on the ice at noon whether hed be recalled off the ice and told to pack?
Haha, no I wasnt even thinking about that, JVR replied. Its almost a little bit funny if something like that were to happen.
Like I said before, its completely out of your control. There is nothing you can do about it if it happens. Just come to the rink and work hard every day to get it done.
Holmgren, in his conference call with reporters, said he had spoken to van Riemsdyk this season, telling him if he saw his name in trade stories, it was because teams were calling about him, not because the Flyers were actively shopping him.
He didnt even have to do that, so it shows that Holmgren is a good man, an honest man, JVR said. We had some talks about all that, but at the end of the day, you never know what can happen... its my job to be professional about what is going on.
Before and after Mondays practice ended, JVR said his teammates were giving him grief about being traded.
They were busting my chops a little bit about it, he said. Thats how we handled it. Once it was all over, we all kind of had a laugh about it. Im happy to be part of this tight-knit group we have.
Sources said there was some interest in Flyers defenseman Matt Carle leading up to the deadline, but his name did not come up Monday.
Carle, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, is earning 3.43 million against the salary cap. Hell be looking for nice raise.
So far, there haven't been any signs a contract can be completed before the season ends.
Kurt Overhardt represents Carle.
Matt knows we have an interest in keeping him, Holmgren said. Weve talked at length. Theres a mutual interest on both sides. I think Matt really wants to stay here and be part of the Flyers for the foreseeable future.
I believe there is something out there that we can agree on to take care of that. Whether it happens in the near future or somewhere down the road, well see.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at firstname.lastname@example.org.