• November 28, 2022

Would Sending JVR to Phantoms Be Worth It?

Flyer James Van Riemsdyk has been scratched for the last three games by coach Peter Laviolette, including last night’s 8-1 thrashing of the Carolina Hurricanes. The organization was expecting him to be off to a much better start than his 0 goals and 4 assists, and Laviolette has been hoping that the time spent out of the line-up will spur him to compete more when his next opportunity to get back in arrives.

That next opportunity may not come for awhile, as the Flyers appear to have found chemistry without him.

The typical Philadelphia chorus has chimed in, as they always do when a player hits a slump, that JVR should be traded or sent down to the Adirondack Phantoms. While the knee jerk reaction to his current play is a bit premature, it’s worthwhile to discuss whether or not it would actually make sense to send JVR down for a period.

When JVR made the Flyers out of training camp last year, it was predominantly because his play in the preseason warranted it. Being the no. 2 overall draft pick for the Flyers, though, probably played a part of it as well. Any general manager is going to take the opportunity to make themselves look like a genius if they have a chance. JVR started hot, hit a wall (figuratively), found his game again, then lost it just as quickly. He hasn’t appeared to have found it again.

The longer that JVR sits in the pressbox, the less prepared he’s going to be when he gets the call up. The Flyers loaned defenseman Oskars Bartulis to the Phantoms earlier this season for similar reasons when he wasn’t seeing any ice time.  Sending him down keeps him fresh and sends a message that he isn’t guaranteed a roster spot if he doesn’t compete at the NHL level for it. Then again, that “message” could have an adverse, demoralizing effect on his struggles.

The Phantoms themselves are also a bit of a trainwreck. Head coach Greg Gilbert was fired on Monday after the team’s ninth straight loss (their record since is 1-1) in an effort to “stop the bleeding,” even though the organization didn’t want to go that route. Playing on that mess of a team isn’t going to help JVR’s development by any stretch, but it could have a positive effect helping the Phantoms get their feet back on solid ground.

According to Philly.com, JVR said about his benching, “I’m not going to pout about it… You don’t get to this point by being a baby about things like this and not reacting to it the right way. I’m working hard in practice, I’m working hard off the ice. My approach isn’t going to change one bit.”

If JVR were to take a demotion in stride, it would reflect well on his professionalism as well as aid Holmgren, who’s in the middle of figuring out what to do to get the Phantoms back on track. I can’t imagine he would forget the favor. If JVR struggled in the AHL too, then the team’s got other problems to worry about.

Josh Janet

Josh Janet was raised in Northern New Jersey, but by an odd set of circumstances, is a Philadelphia sports fan. While recently converted to the Phillies, Josh is a diehard Flyers fan and can be expected to stay on top of the latest NHL news.

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November 13, 2010 1:47 pm

JVR should have gone north and played with/against Canadian Juniors instead of going to NH. He’s not yet got the heart of a Flyer, but he’s young. His skills are not that great that at 6’3″/200lb he doesn’t have to use his body more. Even Briere and Giroux are not afraid to get in thick of things, but their game is to use their skating, shooting and passing to create pressure around net. Practicing with team is not going to be enough; he needs to go down and “adjust” his game for a while.