aPRIL 29, 2018 | 11:52aM ET
JVR KNOWS TIME LIKELY UP IN TORONTO
James van Riemsdyk, left wing
Even with the salary cap going up, James van Riemsdyk has likely priced himself out of a future with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Speaking to the media on Friday, ‘JVR’ sounded like he knew the writing was on the wall, especially with big contracts coming down the pike for William Nylander, Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time here,” van Riemsdyk said, as quoted by the Toronto Sun. “A wide array of emotions today. Definitely a weird feeling that this is the last time I could be walking out of here.
“This is where I was given my chance to play a more meaningful role and expand my game. Just playing here is a huge honour for me for a franchise like this. I enjoyed everything about it and living in this great city.
“I don’t know what the future holds at this point. There are a lot of moving parts. Nothing is cut and dry. When the time comes, I’ll start sorting through what options there might be.”
van Riemsdyk, 28, had a career- and team-high 36 goals this season. He made $5 million, though his salary cap hit was $4.25 million, and will likely see that figure climb around or above $7 million on a new contract.
With Matthews, Marner and Nylander expected to eat up at least $25 million of cap space – Nylander is due for a new contract this off-season, while Matthews and Marner have one-year left on their contracts – there’s little room to sign van Riemsdyk to a competitive contract.
In addition to ‘JVR,’ the Leafs are not expected to re-sign the likes of Tomas Plekanec, Dominic Moore, Leo Komarov or Roman Polak, while the future of Tyler Bozak is up in the air.
“This is all I know,” Bozak told the Sun. “No secret that I love it here. Who knows what will happen, it’s kind of out of my control now.”