After sustaining a lower-body injury in a recent game against the Colorado Avalanche, James van Riemsdyk will miss 5-6 weeks worth of action. This is not good news for the Flyers who will now be without one of their top-end offensive players and big-ticket free agent signings for as many as 14-18 games.
van Riemsdyk signed with the Flyers this summer and was expected to bring his consistent scoring prowess to a Flyers club that had never signed such a large contract under Ron Hextall's tenure as general manager. van Riemsdyk was offered $7 million per season over five years and became the third-highest paid player on the team behind only Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. His consistent 20-30 goal seasons were meant to provide a significant chunk of the Flyers offense this season.
The Flyers will now need to look to other options internally to replace that scoring.
Just when you were getting excited for hockey season, the Flyers learned that they will be without their big free agent signing for a long time.https://t.co/mkY3wXYhzd— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) October 8, 2018
The 29-year-old left winger, playing in his second game in his second stint with the Flyers, blocked a first-period clearing attempt by the Avalanche's Mark Barberio. He appeared to take the puck inside his right knee and immediately left the ice. He didn't return for the second period.
At Monday's practice, head coach Dave Hakstol decided to put forwards Jordan Weal — who was a healthy scratch the first two games of the season — Wayne Simmonds and rookie center Mikhail Vorobyev together in van Riemsdyk's absence. While there's no telling how that line will gel, there are also questions on the power player where van Riemsdyk was part of the team's second-unit power play group.
In short, this is a major setback for the Flyers. With one win and one loss on the season, the club is looking to make the playoffs this year and losing a contributor like van Riemsdyk early in the season won't help matters much.