PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 29: James van Riemsdyk #21 of the Philadelphia Flyers checks David Clarkson #23 of the New Jersey Devils in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on April 29, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
James van Riemsdyk might not get the call to line up at center between Phil Kessell and Joffrey Lupul.
It's been widely speculated that James van Riemsdyk would play center for the Toronto Maple Leafs between Phil Kessell and Joffrey Lupul, with plenty of positive and negative opinions on the potential lineup out there. Now a couple months since the rumors started, it's taken a step toward being put to rest: James Mirtle reported via Twitter that the reports were overblown and exaggerated.
Randy Carlyle says reports that JVR will play centre were all overblown. Wants to try different things down middle, etc.— James Mirtle (@mirtle) September 10, 2012
In other words, we may or may not see JvR starting at center this coming season. Some will tell you this is a good thing and can only be a positive given the level of players that will all see the ice at once. Others might not be so quick to jump on the bandwagon though.
The Leafs Nation took a look at the possibility, and gave some reasons why it wouldn't be a good idea. For one, the Maple Leafs have a perfectly good center in Mikhail Grabovski who is plenty capable of playing both ways and setting the pace. For two, van Riemsdyk hasn't really ever been that momentum-driving player that you want your center to be.
Regardless, the Tweet linked doesn't totally eliminate the possibility of JvR lining up between Kessell and Lupul, what with the desire to "try different things" at the position, but at the very least, the Maple Leafs don't appear to be putting all of their eggs in that basket.