Flyers earn A-minus for James van Riemsdyk deal

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JVR fits in Philadelphia because he’s done this before. The Flyers drafted him second overall in 2007, and he spent the first 196 games of his career in orange and black, scoring 47 goals and adding 52 assists. In June 2012, he was shipped to the Toronto Maple Leafs for defenseman Luke Schenn in one of the worst trades in the history of the Flyers’ franchise. (It was ranked No. 8 here.)

During his 413 games with the Leafs from 2012 to ’18, he established himself as a forward who could play with top-six talent and as a net-front presence on the power play, scoring 11 goals last season with the man advantage.

Overall grade: A-minus
Since 2014, van Riemsdyk has a better points-per-game average (0.71 to 0.62) and goals-per-game average (0.37 to 0.35) than Evander Kane, having played 35 more games. Kane, turning 27 in August, was handed a seven-year deal worth $7 million annually from the San Jose Sharks, setting the market. The Flyers matched that offer in AAV — and for two fewer years — for a player who is just as good, and a much safer play.

Look, $7 million might look differently depending on JVR’s output over the next five years, let alone the success of the club. But at first glance, it’s good work here by Hextall & Co.

The Rays have dominated with their patchwork pitching staff, allowing a total of seven runs in their last six games, with five wins and a 1-0 loss. They took three of four from Houston to close out the homestand Womens Kentrell Brice Jersey and hope to continue the success to take some positive momentum into the All-Star break.

The fact that we have been winning and everyone has been coming together at clutch moments has been great, said outfielder Mallex Smith, who had a late solo home run in Sunday’s 3-2 win over Houston. We’ve been jelling as a team. We’ve been feeding off one another. It seems like someone new coming through at the right time every day.

Next for Tampa Bay is Nathan Eovaldi (2-3, 4.08 ERA), who played for the Authentic Anthony Rendon Jersey Marlins from 2012 to 2014 and will almost certainly fare better than his only career appearance against his former team. In June 2015, he played there with the Yankees and gave up nine hits and eight earned runs in less than an inning, leaving after two outs with a 108.00 ERA to show for it.

Eovaldi has shown promise since returning from Tommy John surgery — his last start against Washington lasted six innings and he gave up no runs, one and and two walks with nine strikeouts.

The Marlins will answer with Wei-Yin Chen, who knows the Rays from his days with the Baltimore Orioles. He has started 21 career games against Tampa Bay, more than any other opponent, and posted a 5-6 record with a 3.72 ERA.