Toronto's Versteeg in Flyers' future?

If the Carolina Hurricanes are “sellers” at this month’s NHL trade deadline (Feb. 28), chances are, as Johnny Mathis would sing, the Flyers would make a serious run at Erik Cole.

Canes’ general manager Jim Rutherford told us he firmly believes his club will snatch the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. As such, that makes Carolina a “buyer” this month — not a seller.

The Flyers can afford to spend about $3.5 million at the deadline. That’s all the cap room they have given Ian Laperriere remains on long-term injury.

Because of such, the Flyers have to absorb a full cap hit on any player they acquire. There is no pro-rated break for the Flyers.

So, you have to look at who is out there and wouldn’t require general manager Paul Holmgren to move additional salary.

Keep this in mind: the Flyers are reluctant to break up chemistry on a team that is going so well right now, and any move could prove disruptive. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if the Flyers do nothing at the deadline.

Top to bottom, the Flyers have all the pieces to win the Stanley Cup.

Yet, one player who is likely on their radar for an upgrade is Toronto winger Kris Versteeg, whose cap hit is an affordable $3.083 million this year and next.

The soon-to-be 25-year-old left wing is a perfect fit for the Flyers: a gritty, hard checker who plays above his 5-foot-10 size. The bad? He could cost the Flyers James van Riemsdyk, a player Leafs GM Brian Burke likes a lot and believes will be a future Olympian for Team USA.

Burke has already hung his “open for business” shingle on his doorstep along 50 Bay Street in The Big T.O.

“You try and keep the TV off as much as possible,” Versteeg told the Globe and Mail this week, when asked about trade rumors. “You’re in Toronto, it’s hard to ignore everything when you’re getting asked about it, but you do got to go out there and just try to play your game.

“I don’t know too much. Obviously from getting asked questions and everything, something might happen. You’ve got to take it as a compliment at times, too, if teams do want you to go help. But at the same time, it’s almost funny when you hear people [in the media] talk, there are times when they think I’m older than I really am.

16 Responses to Toronto's Versteeg in Flyers' future?

  1. Leafs_the_word says:

    I don't understand why teams look to add depth at positions they're deep in.  Philly getting another winger while ignoring goaltending is idiotic.  Reminds me of when the Sens brought in Bondra, what difference would another soft skilled player make to a lineup already filled with them?

    But if we can steal JVR then by all means.

  2. cam7777 says:

    My guess is that they are trying to find a guy who gets Richards going.  The Briere line is good, and Carter and Giroux are working well with Powe, but Richards is often left hung out to dry.  They're looking at who didn't contribute last year, and pointing to JVR.  Good move for the Leafs if it happens, but it's certainly not going to help us this year, and maybe not next year either.  Versteeg is under-rated.  He's been very lazy the last few games though, clearly distracted by all the conversation.

  3. lukeleim says:

    2011 NHL Trade Deadline

    Trade Kris Versteeg and Kenny Ryan to the Philadelphia Flyers for James van Riemsdyk.

    Trade Tomas Kaberle to the Boston Bruins for Blake Wheeler and Jordan Caron.

    Trade Jean-Sebastien Giguere to the Detroit Red Wings for the Red Wings' 4th round draft pick of 2011.

    Trade Brett Lebda to the Los Angeles Kings for the Kings' 6th round draft pick of 2011.

    Trade Jeff Finger to the Edmonton Oilers for Sheldon Souray.

    Trade Mike Komisarek, Tyler Bozak and the Leafs' 4th round draft pick of 2011 to the Ottawa Senators for Sergei Gonchar and Jim O'Brien.

    Clarke MacArthur – Mikhail Grabovski – Nikolai Kulemin
    James van Riemsdyk – Blake Wheeler – Phil Kessel
    Joffrey Lupul – Darryl Boyce – Colby Armstrong
    Mike Brown/Fredrik Sjostrom – Tim Brent – Colton Orr

    Sergei Gonchar – Luke Schenn
    Dion Phaneuf – Keith Aulie
    Sheldon Souray – Carl Gunnarsson

    James Reimer
    Jonas Gustavsson

    2011 NHL Offseason

    Trade Sheldon Souray for draft pick or send down to the Toronto Marlies.

    Resign Luke Schenn four-year contract 12 million.
    Resign Clarke MacArthur two-year contract 5 million.
    Resign Tim Brent one-year contract 625,000.
    Resign Carl Gunnarsson two-year contract 2 million
    Sign Tim Connolly one-year contract 3 million.
    Sign Shane O'Brien two-year contract 2.4 million.

    Clarke MacArthur – Mikhail Grabovski – Nikolai Kulemin
    James van Riemsdyk – Tim Connolly – Phil Kessel
    Joffrey Lupul – Blake Wheeler – Colby Armstrong
    Mike Brown – Tim Brent – Colton Orr

    Sergei Gonchar – Luke Schenn
    Dion Phaneuf – Keith Aulie
    Shane O'Brien – Carl Gunnarsson

    James Reimer
    Jonas Gustavsson

  4. DannyLeafs says:

    It makes some sense, despite their depth, the flyers probably feel they will be much more dagerous if their captain can be more effective. JVR would not be missed, and at this point the cap space might be irrelevant for this season. Next year could be a problem, but at the same time, creating cap problems for the flyers going forward is an added little perk of the deal.

    I am a huge Versteeg fan, and I really like the idea of him playing with Armstrong and Bozak for all of next season, and being one of the better third lines in hockey. I was one of the few people that suggested the leafs target him last season, long before the offseason, and was a huge defender of the trade after it happend, and while he struggled early. So I wouldn't want to give him up for anything that didn't bring back a guy with top line potential.

    That being said, he is somewhat replaceable this off season, and JVR is exactly the type of prospect that could be had with Versteeg. JVR has been disappointing thus far, but still has a ton of upside, and could turn out to be a Bobby Ryan type of player.

    This summer there isn't a lot of top end talent in the free agent pool, but there are a ton of character guys that could fill Versteegs spot on that hypothetical third line without giving up much.

    Laich, Goc, J. Jokinen, Dupuis, Upshall, Glencross are all good third line players that will likely sign for around what Versteeg was getting, and wouldn't be much of a downgrade. You could even consider a guy like Gagne, who plays a similar style to Versteeg, and may be hard pressed to find playing time and a decent level of pay anywhere based on his performance and injury history.

    So, as much as I like Versteeg, I would move him quickly if it meant getting a guy like JVR or a young player with similar potential, since Versteeg could be replaced over the summer without losin out on too much. Not all of the above mentioned players are ideal, but none of them would be terrible options, and any of them could play good third line minutes and give decent production for that role.

  5. palindrom says:

    Some nice idea you have there, but lets talk about the bad one  (in my opinion) ha ha!

    Edmonton would jump on your Souray trade, since finger have a two-way contract.

    If this deal is not done already its because Burke dont think its a good idea. There are reason why Souray is still in the minor!

    I dont think you will  even have a 4th for Giguere. Roloson was traded for an almost busted prospect. Michael Leighton cleared the waiver!

    JVR is exactly the kind of player Philadelphia Need right now and next year… He is a players able to contribute in the league on a rookies contract! I see no reason why they would ship him unless they get a similar player (in age) contract in return. your offer is not bad value wise, but not what the phillies are looking for.

  6. reinjosh says:

    I don't think Finger has a two-way contract. It was though he did but he passed the max games played which took away that aspect of his deal.

  7. reinjosh says:

    Philly is a team that would pay that kind of price too in my opinion. They are very close to a cup and any deal they make is going to only be done to add that. Holmgren is also one of the few GM's who would be willing to make a bold move like that.

    A Versteeg for JVR is an interesting idea. The long-term potential is obviously in JVR's favor. Short-term, Versteeg wins. Versteeg would also has shown the ability to produce on a deep team while being on the third lien so thats a plus in his favor. Its not like Versteeg isn't old either and being an RFA he has value going for him after his deal is up to. What's more is that JVR only has potential going for him long-term, its not a foregone conclusion he will be better than Versteeg (likely but not foregone).

  8. DannyLeafs says:

    He never technically had a 2-way deal, there is just a stipulation in there for drafted NHLers with less than 100 games expereince, where they don't have to clear waivers before being sent down. When Finger was signed  by Toronto this still applied since he had fewer than 100 games of NHL experience, but it isn't technically a two-way contract. He was like any other NHLer getting sent down with a one way contract, the team had to pay his NHL salary as long as he was their property and aibided by his contracted.

    This is where the common misconception came about Finger having a two-way deal. It was never the case during his time with Toronto, and that stipulation only really helped if Toronto wanted to re-call him, as it allowed them to do so without the risk of losing him and still having to pay half of his salary.

  9. mitchamac says:

    LA would like to have versteeg as well

  10. LeafsFTW17 says:

    I really like the idea of signing O'brien. Also I think that if we were to trade Bozak, Kaberle and picks I would try to get a center. Maybe like weiss or something. I don't think we need Gonchar…Phaneuf/Schenn are capable of taking the  #1 pairings, Aulie/Gunnarson/Komisarek are capable of taking the 2nd line and then O'brien can take one of gunnerson or komi on his 3rd line.

  11. PatsLeafs says:

    Versteeg to the Flyers for 1st and 3rd round picks

  12. dumbassdoorman says:

    I am not really sure how i feel about this trade?

  13. toronto77 says:

    Horrible trade by Burke!!! Versteeg is a young player and an important part of the rebuild. We got a first rounder but if philly wins the cup it'll be a 30th overall, not that impressive as well as the third pick. Burke should have made a package deal that would have brought back JVR. Now that we got this let's say 20th-30th overall pick, now we have to wait another 3-5 years for this guy to develop when JVR even though is not playing that great now will probably be excellent in 1-2 seasons.

  14. palindrom says:

    Thank for the clarification

  15. leafy says:

    I hear what you're saying, but don't rule out Burke swapping the pick for a higher pick.

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