Report: Leafs make a decision on JVR

Re-sign him long term? Or deadline trade bait?

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According to a report from TSN’s Frank Seravalli, contract talks between the Toronto Maple Leafs and pending unrestricted free-agent James van Riemsdyk have been remarkably quiet.

While both sides have a shared interest in coming to an agreement on an extension, ultimately the dollar figure and the Leafs’ cap situation could eliminate the possibility of a new deal in Toronto. “I’ve tried not to think about,” said JVR. “You’re human and it’s your future, so there’s some degree of that. Your mind goes there sometimes – wanting to know for sure.”

Seravalli reports that, unless something changes, JVR will remain with the Leafs past the trade deadline and be their “own trade deadline rental”. 

“The contract stuff usually sorts itself out. It becomes pretty clear what’s going on,” van Riemsdyk said. “You just play and we’ll see how it all shakes out.”

So, while it looks like JVR won’t hit the trade market, he could very well hit the free-agent market this summer. Expect teams to line up offers for the big power forward. Unless superstar John Tavares elects to test the free-agent market, JVR will almost certainly be the biggest free-agent fish in the pond.