Blog Entry

Report: Laviolette unhappy with Van Riemsdyk

Posted on: November 4, 2011 11:04 am
Edited on: November 4, 2011 1:09 pm

By Brian Stubits

Let's take you back to the summer for a second. The Philadelphia Flyers, after overhauling their roster, announced the signing of James van Riemsdyk to a brand-spanking new six-year, $25.5 million contract. It signified that with the departure of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, JVR was expected to be one of the big pieces moving forward.

So why was Van Riemsdyk scratched for Thursday's shootout loss to the Devils? It might not be the lower-body injury sustained in Philly's recent game in Buffalo that the Flyers gave as a reason.

Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News reports the reason could be of a much different variety: coach Peter Laviolette's doghouse.

[Van Riemsdyk] arrived at the Wells Fargo Center at his normal time last night, fully expecting to play in last night's 4-3 shootout loss to the Devils. He kept to his normal pregame ritual. He took part in the Flyers' pregame warmups, skating on his line with Danny Briere and newcomer Sean Couturier.

Then, van Riemsdyk was scratched from the lineup without explanation.

According to a team source, speaking to the Daily News last night on a condition of anonymity, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was "especially critical" of van Riemsdyk's performance on Wednesday night -- despite the fact that he scored a highlight-reel goal against the Sabres -- and called him out during a team meeting.

The source also told Seravalli that Van Riemsdyk "could have played and expected to play."

Laviolette later said "it was poor reporting" on Friday when asked about the situation. Whether it's false or true, I wouldn't expect Laviolette to say anything to the contrary.

In the 12 games he has played this season, JVR has five goals and three assists. Not too shabby.

It would seem that Laviolette is either a) truly upset with Van Riemsdyk or b) trying to play some psychological games to get through to JVR.

I'll be interested to see any more on this down the line. I doubt the Van Riemsdyk angle is played out much in public moving forward and he'll probably be back in the lineup the next time out. But where it could have an impact is in the dynamics of the team. Unexpectedly scratching the team's second-leading goal scorer isn't always great for team morality and the views of a coach.

Photo: Getty Images

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Since: Nov 5, 2007
Posted on: November 6, 2011 11:26 am

Report: Laviolette unhappy with Van Riemsdyk

hockeybob, while I generally enjoy what you have to say, I couldn't disagree with you anymore with your position on JVR.

JVR has one of the BEST work ethics on the team. He trained all off season in Connecticut with one of the more reknowned conditioning specialists among the pros, and his attitude couldn't be any better. Character has never been an issue with this kid, and there's no reason to think it ever will be.

Secondly, his "massive and over-generous" contract is dead on in terms of what the market rate is for a guy with his talent and age. For a player-style type of comparrison, compare him to Bobby Ryan on the high side (making 5.1/year), and Ryan Malone on the low side (making 4.5/year). Malone being the example of the "over-generous" type of contract.

JVR is part of the future here. If Laviolette wants to play some mind game with him to get more out of him, thats his business. But in terms of what JVR is making and his role on the team, there's no question he got what he deserves.

Since: Feb 8, 2007
Posted on: November 6, 2011 4:37 am

Report: Laviolette unhappy with Van Riemsdyk

Hawaii, how is a team 8-4-2 that has significantly more goals than every other team in the league usually outscored? And Couturier is their only good center? They had a down spell at one point, but it's been their D lacking Pronger that cost them some games. Lilja especially has been lost. Coburn as well not counting this past game. Kimmo has been playing some of his best hockey in years, though. Regardless, this team went through a major overhaul and has done pretty darn well so far considering. They asked a lot of fresh faces to gel at once. They should only get better. As for JVR being in the doghouse, seems like a non story. There has been a nagging injury and Laviolette has never hinted otherwise. He certainly hasn't gotten the Zherdev treatment.

Since: Feb 8, 2007
Posted on: November 5, 2011 11:11 pm

Report: Laviolette unhappy with Van Riemsdyk

He handled it with a goal and two assists tonight, hockeybob. Maybe he was actually sore last game.

Since: Nov 4, 2011
Posted on: November 4, 2011 1:05 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: November 4, 2011 11:29 am

Report: Laviolette unhappy with Van Riemsdyk

Assuming the reports are true, this would be another reason NOT to give out such a massive, over-generous contract so soon.    If it is an attitude or work ethic problem, these are questions that should have been answered thoroughly before giving him such a massive extension.   He's been with organization for too long now.   

Maybe it's just b.s. and there was some minor injury or something.   We'll see how JVR handles it.

Since: Aug 21, 2011
Posted on: November 4, 2011 11:27 am

Report: Laviolette unhappy with Van Riemsdyk

Unfortunately, the Flyers need to be doing more than this.  The top line is working.  The second and third line are horrible.  No scoring, no hitting, no anything.  The fourth line contributes and they bury their one talented center ( couterier ) there.  Add Mezaros as the only defenseman that touches anyone, and now you have a bunch of figure skating, bad passing, play to the outside hockey players.  This is why every team out hits them, and usually out scores them.  

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