Oh, these kids today, with their announcing multi-year contract extensions through social media: Winger James van Riemsdyk and the Philadelphia Flyers revealed via Twitter on Tuesday that they've agreed to a 6-year contract extension.
He will make roughly $25.5 million over the course of the six year deal, keeping his cap number low at $4.25 million. "He wanted to work with the Flyers to get a good cap number," agent Alex Schall told Philly Sports Daily. "He wanted to help the team move forward long-term."
Boy, the nerve of the Flyers to completely knock that Michael Vick contract off the back page and sports talk radio, right?
Van Riemsdyk was taken second overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft behind Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, who turned a Calder Trophy and a Stanley Cup into a 5-year extension that averages $6.5 million per season. Sam Gagner, taken at No. 6 by the Edmonton Oilers, will make $2.275 million against the cap this year. Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks, taken No. 9 that year, just inked an extension worth $2.875 million annually.
His seven goals in 11 playoff games really showed how little of van Riemsdyk's full potential we've seen. Toss him on a line with Danny Briere and Claude Giroux this year, and how much higher can he go than 40 points in 75 games? He's the kind of young star (21) a team builds around and who makes older offensive players expendable … even if they have multi-year contracts.
Yes, it's an unavoidable topic when discussing the Philadelphia Flyers and job security: This is the team that traded Mike Richards (12-year deal) and Jeff Carter (11-year deal) because of politics and dressing room behavior modification.
So when we read this:
We heard this:
"Ed Snider and Paul Holmgren have given me the chance that I wanted to be here, to be part of the organization. I talked to a couple guys and all the consensus is that this is a first class organization, nobody treats you better." — Mike Richards, Dec. 14, 2007.
If nothing else, perhaps a lesson's been learned: van Riemsdyk's got the goods (Judd Apatow agrees), but 12-year contracts ain't nuthin' but trouble. So slice it in half, and you still have a foundational player under contract for a team that can use a little stability after this summer.
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- James van Riemsdyk