Waiting in coronavirus limbo, Flyers’ James van Riemsdyk optimistic ‘we’ll find a way’ back to normalcy

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — With the NHL and the rest of the sports world is sidelined, players like Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk are trying to get the message across about staying home during the coronavirus crisis.

“Obviously there’s lots of stuff going on in the world right now, so we all have to do our parts in a different way as far as just sitting tight at home and following different instructions that the governments are putting out there,” he said during a Tuesday night conference call.

Van Riemsdyk is the team’s player representative, responsible for keeping his teammates updated on hockey matters.

The Flyers and the rest of the NHL are still hoping to have a postseason with a chance for someone to lift the Stanley Cup, but van Riemsdyk said health is the top priority, not hockey.

“Again, we realize this is about stuff that’s bigger than sports. This is about livelihoods of people and their health,” he acknowledged. “Everyone’s main concern is just the health and safety of them and their families and society in general.”

Before the virus’ impact, the NHL playoffs were originally scheduled to begin on April 8. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has extended the league’s coronavirus isolation period to April 15.

“I think that we’ll again find a way,” van Riemsdyk added, “but ultimately, again, we want to guarantee the safety of everyone involved whether that’s players, staff, fans.”