The man that has been rumored to be traded seemingly ever since he was drafted has finally been dealt: the Flyers have traded James van Riemsdyk to the Maple Leafs for defenseman Luke Schenn. This deal has been rumored to be happening for the last year or so and the Flyers finally pulled the trigger to trade the two straight up for one another.
Schenn, who is indeed the brother of current Flyer Brayden Schenn, is a young defenseman who has shown plenty of promise but has yet to live up to his potential. His cap hit is lower than JVR's by nearly a million and he is under contract for fewer seasons so the Flyers are also freeing up money that will likely be used to re-sign Matt Carle as well as bring in a free agent or two. If Schenn ever lives up to his potential as a top defenseman, this deal could turn out to be a steal for the Flyers.
Much like Schenn, JVR has never quite lived up to his potential. He has long been coveted by the Leafs for his size and his occasional flashes of brilliance. He could be the type of player that will thrive with a change of scenery and could eventually become a star and make the Flyers regret ever trading him.
It's pretty apparent that Paul Holmgren loves trading and isn't afraid to take chances. On paper, JVR is currently the better player in the deal but neither player has fully developed yet so it is impossible to love or hate the deal. Given the complete over-pay of his contract, I can't say I'm all that upset that JVR has been shipped out of town.