Flyers

Flyers

VOORHEES, N.J. — Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons weren't the only recruiters in town.

Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek knew how to make a sales pitch for Philly, too.

They were the ones to help Ron Hextall lock up James van Riemsdyk, who signed a five-year contract Sunday to rejoin the Flyers.

"I heard from G and I talked to Jake Voracek," van Riemsdyk said via conference call. "It was good. I did my homework in the situation to talk to guys that were still there, some guys that maybe are not there anymore but that were there recently, just to get a feel of where things are at. 

"I talked to both those guys and just picked their brain about some stuff. They were great about being open and available to help me through my process of getting to the point to make a decision. That was really helpful."

OK, so Giroux and Voracek probably didn't have it as hard as Embiid and Simmons did, trying to pull off the ultimate haul: LeBron James, who ended up picking the Lakers Sunday night (see story).

That's because, in many ways, Giroux and Voracek were likely giving van Riemsdyk a simple refresher. "JVR" was drafted by the Flyers as the No. 2 overall pick in 2007. He played his first three NHL seasons with the orange and black, helping lead them to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final his rookie season. Overall, van Riemsdyk won five playoff series with the Flyers, who ironically haven't done so once since he was traded to the Maple Leafs.

 

"It certainly is an eye-opening experience the first time you go through something like that, getting traded," van Riemsdyk said. "You're a little naïve where you think it's going to be all roses and thinking you're going to be in one place your whole career and hopefully win championships. There was definitely a sense of that, wanting to come back and be a part of the group that's there and hopefully do great things with that."

The familiarity with Philadelphia and the Flyers' culture were major draws for van Riemsdyk, who told the NHL Network that 10 to 12 teams reached out to him.

"Knowing what the organization is all about," van Riemsdyk said. "Just remembering my time previously, how they obviously want to win and they're willing to put the resources into that. That passion and commitment to that was a big thing for me."

He's now in a position to make new memories with the Flyers.

What was his favorite before the trade?

"That playoff run my first year there," he said. "Just how special that was and how jacked the city was. Hopefully again we get a chance to do something like that in the future here."

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