Carolina Hurricanes: The Impact of Moving Trevor van Riemsdyk

RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 28: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (57) during the 2nd period of the Carolina Hurricanes game versus the Washington Capitals on March 28th, 2019 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC. (Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 28: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (57) during the 2nd period of the Carolina Hurricanes game versus the Washington Capitals on March 28th, 2019 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC. (Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

With the Trevor van Riemsdyk’s name floating around in the rumor mill, let’s take a look at the potential impact of moving the veteran blueliner?

The Carolina Hurricanes are reportedly interested in acquiring another top nine forward and are willing to move one of Trevor van Riemsdyk or Haydn Fleury in a deal to do so. Since his name has surfaced in the rumor mill, how will his loss impact the Carolina Hurricanes’ roster?

Originally acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights during the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft in exchange for a second round pick, van Riemsdyk was brought in to provide stability to the 5/6 defensive pair. During his tenure in Carolina he has done just that, proving the team with a reliable shut down defender capable of jumping into the top four should injuries occur.

Playing in 165 regular season games with the Hurricanes over three season, TVR has put up 32 points, six goals and 26 assists, while averaging 15:58 a night. While those numbers are nothing to write how about he remains a key member of the blueline.

We saw evidence of this during the Eastern Conference Finals against the Bruins, where he missed the entire series with a shoulder injury. Having to slot players differently on the backend, the Hurricanes vitality struggled to contain the Bruins’ offense.

It’s hard to say if the outcome would have been vastly different, but it’s likely the Hurricanes wouldn’t have been swept if TVR had been available.

Now, with the departure of Justin Faulk in training camp, the Hurricanes only have three right handed defensemen on their NHL roster, Dougie Hamilton, Brett Pesce and TVR. While Fleury did a fine job filling in on his offside when Trevor was recovering from offseason surgery, the coaching staff doesn’t seem to have the same amount of trust in him as they do in their veteran players.

Being a pending UFA, it is likely van Riemsdyk will be looking for raise and, at 28, some term to go along with it. Given the organizational depth at the position, there’s several options to take his spot in the lineup next season, Charlotte Checkers reigning defenseman of the month Chase Priskie among them.

Priskie's Hot Start. light. More

Another obvious choice, although a left handed shot, is the previously mentioned Fleury. Although he’s done a fine job in his limited ice time, he’s found himself back in the press box since TVR returned for injury. With both names circling around in trade talks, the cost controlled years and potential of Fleury could be enough for the organization to want to hold on to him a little longer.

Given his contract status, a contending team like Tampa, Toronto or Nashville may be interested in acquiring van Riemsdyk’s services for a playoff run. At the same time, underperforming teams like Winnipeg and San Jose appear to be in dire need of help and may overpay for a veteran player  in hopes of turning their disappointing seasons around.

At the same the Hurricanes are trying to be become contenders in their own right and may consider holding on to Trevor for their own playoff run, similar to what they did with Micheal Ferland just this past season. With this in mind, it only makes sense to deal TVR for either an overpayment or in a larger deal for an establish upgrade upfront.

On the flip side, they could always deal TVR for a second round pick, or equivalent, and then ship off that asset(s) elsewhere to improve the roster at the deadline. Another reason the team could prefer to move Trevor instead of Haydn is the cap savings that goes along with it.

With the Hurricanes hovering near the salary cap, freeing up around $2,000,000 will go along way in adding a player or two at the trade deadline, or should Justin Williams decide to return, the cap space for him.

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In addition, given the organizational  depth, it makes no sense to have a third pairing that’s making over five million dollars. With his current defensive partner,  Joel Edmundson, having a cap hit of 3.1 million and TVR’s cap hit of 2.3 million something has to give, especially given the organization’s recent history of cap/asset management.

While some may say just move on from Edmundson, whose also a pending UFA, because of his higher cap hit, Joel adds an all important physical presence, something the Hurricanes have historically lack on their roster.

Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina Hurricanes /

Carolina Hurricanes

Should they move on from him they would need go out a find a similar player to fill the void, making it highly unlikely they’ll even consider moving him. It becomes even unlikely after you revisit Brind’Amour’s comments after they acquired him from St. Louis.

Arguably the biggest loss will be intangibles both off the ice and in the locker room. Trevor has been a fan favorite ever since he arrived in Raleigh back in 2017. It is clear that he’s also well liked by his teammates. With locker room moral and chemistry important for a team to be successful, they may lean towards holding off on moving TVR.

At the end of the day a right shot TVR should have a fair amount of value around the league, should the Canes go that route. He’s a proven player and could be a top four defenseman on a few teams with a weaker d-core than the Hurricanes. He’s a type of player that contenting teams are on the hunt for, and often pay a premium for, around the trade deadline.

Should the Carolina Hurricanes opt for getting an asset for the pending UFA look for them to target help upfront or a piece(s) that they can flip to improve the roster. With the team aiming to make another deep playoff run, they could always elect to keep TVR as an “own rental” before the blueliner likely test free agency.

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Question for CC readers: Do you think the Hurricanes are shopping Trevor van Riemsdyk for forward help or is it just speculation? What do you think he could fetch in a trade?