An Obligatory Check-in with James van Riemsdyk amid Maple Leafs Visit to Philly

An Obligatory Check-in with James van Riemsdyk amid Maple Leafs Visit to Philly

We’ll be keeping an eye on the trajectory of their careers for
years to come, but we are reminded to check in on the James van
Riemsdyk-for-Luke Schenn swap every time the Flyers meet the Toronto Maple
Leafs. JVR makes his first trip back to the Wells Fargo Center since he was
traded on Monday night, and he returns with 11 goals already in 2013 – good for
sixth place in the NHL.

Van Riemsdyk has really begun to flourish for Toronto, his
15 points tying him for the clubhouse lead with All-Star Phil Kessel and
impressive young center Nazem Kadri. JVR has been by far their best goal-scorer
though – the next-closest player on the team is the surprising Matt Frattin
with seven – and he’s been lighting the lamp in bunches, earning his third
multi-goal game of the season last Thursday versus Buffalo. Van Riemsdyk is
also in a tie for eighth on the NHL leaderboard in shots on goal.

There’s no question the change of scenery continues to be a
good thing for the Middletown, New Jersey native. He’s showcasing true All-Star
potential, and perhaps is on the verge of finally living up to his status as
the second-overall pick in the ’07 draft if he can keep up this level of
production.

You hate to let a player go when he has that kind of ability,
but I’m not sure you would say the Flyers got robbed or anything. The change of
scenery has mostly been kind to Luke Schenn as well, who has quickly become
Philadelphia’s most physical presence on the blue line. Schenn is fifth in the
NHL in hitting (second on the Flyers to Zac Rinaldo), and his 41 blocked shots
puts him among the league leaders in that category as well. He hasn’t been
afraid to drop the gloves, either.

It’s too soon to declare either side winners or losers, but
even amid JVR’s breakout year it’s hard to feel bad about the exchange. The
Flyers’ offense has been on a roll of late, climbing to eighth in the rankings with
2.90 goals per game, so it’s not as if they miss him desperately. Despite the
addition of Schenn though, Philly is allowing the eighth-highest goals
against at 3.05, so obviously they still need work on the back end.

Of course JVR drew first blood on his old team two weeks ago,
skating right around Schenn then finding twine to put the exclamation point on a
5-2 Maple Leafs win. However, it could be awhile before we know who has the last
laugh.

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Union sign second-round pick, defender Aaron Jones

Union sign second-round pick, defender Aaron Jones

The Union have signed their second-round draft choice, Aaron Jones, from last month’s MLS SuperDraft. 

The 5-foot-9 defender was selected 33rd overall and is the second player the Union have signed from the Jan. 13 draft. Marcus Epps was the first to sign. 

Jones has been practicing with the team in their preseason camp and has impressed the front office. 

“We are pleased to sign Aaron to an official MLS contract,” Union sporting director Earnie Stewart said. “Aaron has impressed throughout his time with us in preseason camp, displaying quickness, his ability in passing and on free kicks, and his aggressive one-on-one defending. We look forward to bringing him aboard officially and tracking his development at the right back position over the years to come.”

The 22-year-old originally played at the collegiate level with Georgia State University between 2013-2014. He made 35 starts while scoring three goals with five assists. He transferred to Clemson before the 2015 season and finished his final two seasons with the Tigers. In those two seasons he made 38 starts, scoring four goals, and gathered seven assists. 

Flyers clash with Penguins in cheapest outdoor game this season

ap-heinzfield.jpg
AP Images

Flyers clash with Penguins in cheapest outdoor game this season

Editor's note: The following is sponsored content written by TicketIQ.

Attending this year’s Stadium Series game won’t come at much of a cost for fans at Heinz Field.

With the Penguins set to host the Flyers in the 68,000-plus seat stadium on Saturday, tickets are the cheapest of all three outdoor games this season. On TicketIQ, CSN Philly’s official ticketing partner, Penguins vs. Flyers Stadium Series tickets now average $202.

Saturday’s game is considerably cheaper than the Centennial Classic and Winter Classic, which were held in Toronto and St. Louis last month, respectively. The Winter Classic between the Blues and Blackhawks averaged a $632 ticket while the Maple Leafs and Red Wings’ Centennial Classic posted a $299 average.

As it stands now, this weekend’s game owns the third lowest average for a Stadium Series game in the last four years, trumped only by a 2016 game between the Wild and Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, which owned an overall average of $160. It is the cheapest two-day-out average that any game has posted, however, inching past a 2015 game between the Sharks and Kings ($203) for that title.

Only a 2014 Stadium Series game at Yankee Stadium between the Rangers and Islanders owned a lower get-in price ($45) two days out than Saturday’s game at Heinz Field. Penguins vs. Flyers tickets currently start from $67 each in the 500 sections.

The Flyers will play in their first Stadium Series game since the format was created in 2014. It will be their third overall outdoor game after 2010’s Winter Classic at Fenway Park and 2012’s Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park.

The game comes at a crucial time for the Flyers, who remain on the cusp of a playoff spot in a crowded Eastern Conference. As of Thursday afternoon, they sit just three points removed from the second wild-card spot. Some pushing and shoving will occur over the next two months, however, as several other teams fight for that last playoff berth.

The Penguins play host to their second outdoor game at Heinz Field following 2011’s Winter Classic against the Capitals. It will be the reigning Stanley Cup champions’ fourth outdoor game since 2008. They enter Saturday owners of the second seed in the Metropolitan division behind the league-best Capitals with 82 points in tow.