James van Riemsdyk thanks Flyers fans

Former Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk, who was traded to Toronto for Luke Schenn on Saturday, thanked Flyers fans with a message via Twitter today.

This is the first time he will play for a team other than the Flyers in his NHL career.

"Would like to thank everyone in Philly for the support over the past few years. Met a lot of great people and made some great memories. Very excited to start the next chapter in Toronto. Really looking forward to it."

Van Riemsdyk also did a conference call with Toronto area media on Saturday night after the deal. He referenced having grown up a New York Yankees fan in North Jersey and referred to the Maple Leafs as the Yankees of the NHL.

“Obviously there’s some mixed emotions because the Philadelphia organization has treated me well... But at the same time, going to play in Toronto is really exciting for me," he said, according to the Toronto Globe and Mail. "The tradition they have there, the city, the fans, it’s all unbelievable. Growing up a big time Yankees fan, it’s kind of like playing for the New York Yankees of the NHL. I’m definitely looking forward to getting everything going.”

On being traded: “You’ve got to kind of be prepared for anything and there’s never really that big of a surprise. You kind of hear some of the rumours going on and you kind of wonder so it’s not like I was completely blindsided by everything here.

On things not working out  with the Flyers: “Ideally I think anytime anyone gets drafted they want to picture things perfectly. You imagine playing there your whole career and winning a few Cups and that but that’s obviously not the way things always work out.”