So yesterday on TSN, a panel of Bob McKenzie, Pierre LeBrun, Darren Dreger. and commentator John Roe discussed the John Tavares watch. You can read about our feelings on that over here.
But the interesting part of this panel came from good ol’ Bob, who dropped this fun little nugget of info starting at the 50 second mark:
“I wouldn’t want to say that the John Tavares sweepstakes are freezing up the James Van Reimsdyk sweepstakes, but it is complicating it a little bit because of the ten or twelve teams that have inquired about James Van Reimdyk...the reality is at least a couple of them are involved with the Tavares sweepstakes. And that would be the San Jose Sharks, the Boston Bruins, amongst others...” - Bob McKenzie
So! JvR is apparently in the sights of the Bruins, according to at least one fairly trustworthy source. Let’s take a quick look at JvR and what he brings to the table:
JvR, on the surface:
If you ever wanted a player who just embodied the phrase “scoring winger”, it’d be hard to find anyone who embodied that more than JvR.
JvR is an absolute monster of a point-producer at the NHL level and an even more pronounced goal-scorer. Over the past two seasons alone he has over 65 goals in two complete seasons, and boasts everything you wanna hear about in a top six player: fast, good on the puck, one of the most dangerous shots in hockey, and a great attitude about the whole thing.
Of course, when i say “Scoring winger”, I mean it. JvR’s biggest strength is directly proportionate to the fact that JvR’s backcheck is...not great. It’s pretty mediocre, in fact.
But the simple fact is...he scores. And he does it a lot, which means he’s absolutely going to even it out by getting back any goals he’s on the ice for. Of course, if you do what the Leafs did last year and pair him up with a center whose pretty defensively responsible, you can negate that part of him completely and just have this fairly strong winger whose a good option to pass to.
Hmmm...Now who on the Bruins do we know who could do that for JvR, I wonder?
JvR by the Analytics:
JvR is one of those players who’s astonishingly great for analysis because everything the eye-test says about him more or less confirms that he’s at his best when he’s playing offense; putting up as many shots as he’s giving up. The very definition of a player that makes the game “fun” by making it more interesting around him.
And further, he’s gonna try and score; he’s not looking to build a breadth of points by giving up pretty passes. He’s just gonna unload that cannon of a shot. And more often than not it’s a great shot to have.
A big part of why is something you can see in the context section; The Leafs figured out real early on the best way to use JvR is as the steel-toed boot to kick teams while they threw out their least-skilled competition, and so he could feast on teams’ depth with ease. As such, they limited the ways in which JvR’s less effective features (like his backcheck) could come back to haunt them. Any team picking him up will likely do the exact same thing.
How much would he cost?:
JvR’s last contract had him on a $5 Million dollar a year deal with the Leafs, and at the tender age of 29, he’s likely looking for a nice, hefty extension that’ll last him into his mid to late 30’s, maybe for similar if not the same kind of money he’s gotten so far.
While $5 Million a year definitely sounds doable and pretty solid for what the Bruins can properly give out, the reality of free agency is that having multiple teams gunning for one player drives the price up. JvR could be possibly looking at $6 million a year or even more if teams valued his scoring touch that much.
Would he be worth it?:
If you lose out on Tavares? And he’s still looking for a place to go by July 1st? It wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to see if he’s interested in playing in Boston. He fills an exact need that the Bruins have been kicking down the road for years now, and, if he’s willing to take a deal that was at least somewhat like the one he was on when he was signed in Toronto, he could end up being a real attractive answer to a real ugly problem the team continues to inflict on itself.
But of course, if he’s gone past the $6 million a year mark and is looking to be in town for a long time?...Maybe it’s alright to skip him.
What do you think?
Should the Bruins Sign JvR?
This poll is closed
Yes! The middle six needs more scoring!
Yes, but only if they get a good deal on him
No, he’d be too expensive
No, they have better options in their depth