Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

Brian Burke’s radio interview on Wednesday seemed to speak volumes about what he was looking for and what he was willing to part with to improve the Leafs. It’s no secret that the main parts of any potential deal with the Flyers, if it were to happen, would be Luke Schenn and the highly skilled and big bodied James van Riemsdyk. The merits of Schenn and his contributions to the Toronto Maple Leafs are great, but if you want a great player, you have to move another one, unless you’re dealing with Darryl Sutter.

What exactly do we get with James van Riemsdyk? Well, Gus Katsaros was kind enough to provide us with the full scouting report on JVR and it is tantalizing to say the least.

Before you read on, you should buy the McKeen’s 2011-12 Hockey Yearbook which has extensive scouting reports on all players.

They have also a full draft review for this years NHL Draft and which you should also buy. The work the folks do over at McKeen’s is excellent

James van Riemsdyk Scouting Report

tall lanky playmaker with slick hands and tricky 1-on-1 moves, aided by a huge wingspan .. unloads a fast, accurate snapshot at top speed .. good passer – finesses soft, accurate feeds through traffic displaying imagination .. sharp moving laterally and fast in full flight .. reaped the benefits of a strength and conditioning program as he looked heavier and thicker last season .. more diligent working the boards and finishing checks down low .. showed an increasing net presence late in the campaign .. wavering intensity remain an issue – still learning to sustain energy .. too passive defensively and can struggle to stay involved .. this summer’s clearance sale will provide opportunities .. expect bigger peaks – and some valleys

And his cap hit for the Leafs would be:

2009-10 $65,000 $875,000 $850,000 $87,500 $1,654,166
2010-11 $65,000 $875,000 $637,500 $87,500 $1,654,166
2011-12 $65,000 $875,000 $850,000 $87,500 $1,654,166
2012-13 $2,500,000 $2,500,000 $0 $0 $4,250,000
2013-14 $3,750,000 $3,750,000 $0 $0 $4,250,000
2014-15 $4,500,000 $4,500,000 $0 $0 $4,250,000
2015-16 $4,750,000 $4,750,000 $0 $0 $4,250,000
2016-17 $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $0 $0 $4,250,000
2017-18 $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $0 $0 $4,250,000

Courtesy of

The Leafs would take on approximately $300,000 $650,000 in salary if those two players were swapped, which I don’t think is the case. This is just my take on it based on what I read on today:

TSN and the Philadelphia Daily News are reporting the Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs have held discussions regarding Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn being part of a package coming to Philadelphia in exchange for forward James van Riemsdyk.

If it means getting a player that has yet to hit his full potential, which could be enormous, then I’m all for it. Schenn is a good player and will be for many years, but JVR’s ceiling is quite high and the room for growth is enormous for the former second overall pick. Alec astutely pointed out that he was a machine in the series against Boston and his numbers from the 2011 playoffs were excellent. This is the type of forward with the size that Toronto is in dire need of and you’re going to have to part with a equally talented player to acquire someone like him.  I would imagine Burke would have to give up at least one more piece to make the deal happen. That’s only my opinion—take it for what it’s worth.

Thankfully, the best GM in hockey works for the Leafs and you can bet he will move heaven and earth get this deal or a deal of similar impact done to improve his club.


A four-game winning streak has boosted the Toronto Maple Leafs’ hopes of finally reaching the playoffs for the first time since the NHL’s season-long lockout in 2004-05. A home-and-home sweep of sputtering Buffalo would hurt the Sabres’ chances of joining them.

After shutting out the Sabres earlier this week, Toronto can open a 10-point advantage over its Northeast Division rival if it posts another regulation victory Friday night in Buffalo. The Maple Leafs (22-15-5) have jumped to seventh place in the Eastern Conference after sweeping a four-game homestand to begin 2012.

It’s been nearly five years since they last won five in a row, although they’ll have to end a three-game road skid to match that feat.

“It definitely feels like we’re moving in the right direction,” Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson said. “We’re really good right now.”

Gustavsson has been in net throughout the Leafs’ win streak, posting a 1.51 goals-against average and two shutouts. He had 32 saves Tuesday in a 2-0 win over the Sabres, his first victory in five career starts versus Buffalo.


Busy times around Leaf Nation, with the club playing excellent hockey of late and the Monster really finding his game and confidence. It looks like the Leafs will be playing Detroit in the 2013 Winter Classic at “The Big House” in what would be the world record for the biggest attendance for a hockey game—and with that—our own HBO 24/7 Leafs/Wings series to document it. And of course, plenty of trade talks.