JVR signs six year extension

By JAY BOEHMER
Senior Hockey Insider — jboehmer@highhopesblog.com
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The 22-year-old Jersey boy can't get to get back on the ice knowing he has a future in Philly. (Courtesy Philly.com)

In a summer full of makeovers for this Flyers team, the recent signing of James van Riemsdyk to a six year extension only confirms his place as one of the future faces of the franchise.

His deal, worth $25.5 million over six years – for a cap hit of $4.25 mil – is going to keep him around for the next few years at a reasonable price.

The 22-year-old New Jersey native knows his role on the team, and doesn’t see it changing just because of some dollar signs.

“I think I was already handed those responsibilities,” he said.  “I don’t really think contracts come into play when it comes to taking more responsibility.  [Contract or not], I was ready for that opportunity and challenge coming into this season, so now it’s just up to me to go out there and play and do the things I like to do out there.”

While we’ve seen that contracts don’t mean a permanent place here, JVR is excited to stay within the folds of this organization into the future.

“I couldn’t be happier, obviously.  Over the two years I’ve been here, and even prior to that when I was with the organization, I’ve seen how well they treat their players and how highly everyone talks about it.

“When these talks of an extension started to come up, that was in the back of my mind, and I knew this was the place I really wanted to be.”

This contract is similar to the extension that Claude Giroux signed at the start of last season – it dodges upcoming free agency and gives the organization a few years to see them before they potentially sign their career away to Philadelphia.

This is much different from the way the organization handled its previous franchise poster boy, Mike Richards.  Richards leaped right from his entry-level contract into a 12 year deal that wouldn’t expire until he’d reached the ripe old age of 35.

With this several year stop-gap in place for van Riemsdyk and Giroux, they can continue to develop their game, forge their career path, and hopefully sign future deals to keep them in the black and orange.

It’s a much smarter way to handle players and their contracts in a salary cap world where talent comes and goes.

It’s hard to tell what switch went off in the collective mind of the Flyers’ front office, but this offseason has shown – in some very dramatic ways – that they finally understand how to manage a team in this NHL.

A few years late to the party, sure, but to any fan in this city, a championship would erase that wait in a heartbeat.

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