Toronto Maple Leafs: Should They Trade James Van Riemsdyk?

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Apr 3, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk (21) carries the puck against the Boston Bruins during the second period at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Watson

Personally I think that Van Riemsdyk is one of the few players the Toronto Maple Leafs should not trade. Last season he was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal 2014-15 season. His 56 points while playing on the top line was the most productive of any Toronto player.

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While Kessel, Phaneuf, Kadri and possibly Lupul are due to go on the block due to their expensive deals, Van Riemsdyk has a contract that is still affordable and wouldn’t affect cap space. Also at 26 years old, this is one guy who is coming into his element. I feel that under Babcock, this is one top-line player that could well make a difference when the game is on the line.

The Leafs have heavy organization movements to do before a puck even drops next season, but I think trading Van Riemsdyk is a mistake they will regret. The continually under-performing veterans need to be on their way, no question there. But I think that by both Shanahan and Babcock still installing the new blood to take their place, it could lead to a more exciting team with the potential.

On the other hand, Van Riemsdyk could also be a handy makeweight in any off-season trades. I can’t name many franchises who would willing turn down this type of winger. Also, whereas future draft picks have been blown on trades, this one could well open the door.

Overall, I have a feeling that JVR will be one player we will seeing gracing the ACC next season.

Next: Robb Ellis' Answer