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James van Riemsdyk is glad he’s still a Flyer

James van Riemsdyk

Philadelphia Flyers’ James van Riemsdyk celebrates his goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils Friday, April 1, 2011 in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Bill Kostroun

There was a time when signing a hefty contract extension signaled that a player was borderline untouchable, but those days are gone. That’s especially true in Philadelphia, where the ink was barely dry on Jeff Carter’s deal before GM Paul Holmgren sent him to Columbus.

With that in mind, one cannot blame James van Riemsdyk if he was sweating the various trade rumors that included his name. The 22-year-old power forward expressed relief to remain with the Flyers while discussing the deadline with’s Tim Panaccio.

“Yeah, at the end of the day, I’m happy to still be a Flyer,” Van Riemsdyk said. “I love all the guys we have on the team. We have a great group of guys, not only on the ice, but off the ice, as well. I’m really excited about what we can do together.”

Even so, JVR acknowledged a mindset that if Wayne Gretzky could get traded, then so could he.

It didn’t help that he’s been a bit disappointing considering what seemed like a breakout playoff performance for the burgeoning winger. That’s the danger of trusting the results of a small sample in a contract year, but JVR is young enough that it’s far too early to call the contract an albatross.

Depending upon how you look at it, the Flyers either decided they couldn’t part with the young forward or didn’t find the right deal, but the bottom line is that he can put those rumors behind him.

For now, at least.