The Toronto Maple Leafs will need to manage several contract extensions over the summer and star forward James van Riemsdyk is amongst the players set to become an unrestricted free agent next July.
According to NHL reporter Pierre McGuire, who took the microphone on Ottawa' TSN 1200, there is a chance that JrV finds himself on the trading market and that the Minnesota Wild could try to land the 28-year-old.
“I don’t know because I know James really likes playing there No. 1,” began McGuire. “But No. 2, here’s something that’s not talked about a lot. James is from Middletown, New Jersey. He spent a lot of his off-seasons early in his career training in Connecticut, near where I live, and living there. He uprooted his family and moved. They’ve got property out in Minnesota. He lives on the same lake where Zach Parise and a bunch of the other Minnesota Wild players live, and a bunch of the guys from the University of Minnesota live and train. That would be a dark horse situation, but if they ever let him go to market I wouldn’t be shocked if Minnesota was a very real player for him."
McGuire is not saying that JrV will land on the trading block without a doubt, but suggests that the Wild might be willing to offer a lot to get him in the fold. Van Riemsdyk’s cap hit for the Leafs is $4.25 million, although he’s making $5 million in actual salary this year. This is the final season of his six-year, $25.5 million deal and he has a modified no-trade clause through which he submits a 10-team no-trade list.
Minnesota could easily find itself on there...
“But it’ll be interesting to see what Lou Lamoriello does with that one because that’s going to be probably his biggest conundrum. That’s a piece – a chip in the game – that he can play to make their defense better.”
The Wild was reportedly ready to part ways with 24-year-old Jonas Bodin or Matt Dumba, who turned 23 in July, in a trade that did not get completed with the Tampa Bay Lightning for forward Jonathan Drouin.
The Wild could be willing to complete a similiar transaction to get its hands on JrV.
Certainly a report that will have some follow-up action... Cause JrV is for sure putting on a good show so far: