Unselfish James van Riemsdyk won’t listen to rumors

A few NHL players have admitted that they have a bag packed and waiting by their front door, just in case they get traded before today’s 3 p.m. deadline. Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk isn’t one. It looks like the Flyers have no interest in moving him.

The 22-year-old forward has been subject of trade rumors recently and some had even gone so far as to accuse him of embellishing his concussion to avoid a trade.

“You know, it’s funny when people question your character who’ve never even met you before,” van Riemsdyk said recently. “One thing I pride myself on is being a hard-working guy who has high character and when people say that about you, you can only really just laugh about it and just let it roll off you because I know what I’m all about and that’s not one of the things I’m about.

“I’m not selfish. If [a trade] has to happen, whatever, it’s part of the game. I’m just focused on what’s going on now and that’s helping the Flyers win games.”

Van Riemsdyk will get a raise next season when his six-year extension kicks in. His cap hit will jump from $1.65 million to $4.25 million per season. This year, he hasn’t been able to match his efforts in last year’s playoffs — when he scored seven goals in 11 playoff games — due to an injury-plagued season. He has 11 goals and 13 assists in 41 games this year.

While those nagging injuries didn’t keep him from missing many games, he still had to play through them. Missing 15 games with a concussion also gave him an opportunity to rest. Since his return, he’s played more like his playoff form last year than the beginning of the season when he appeared to be struggling.

In Winnipeg, van Riemsdyk showed why the Flyers put so much stock in him as a power forward when he found Wayne Simmonds in the contest’s final 10 seconds for a game-tying goal. Flashes like that are what tell the Flyers they need him for the rest of this season and beyond.

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