Brian Burke has never been shy about the fact that he prefers bigger, more “truculent” players. His team, however, is certainly not amongst the biggest out there, so it was no surprise to see his latest forward acquisition come in at all of 6’3″.
Often, expectations on big guys are that they bring that truculence, whether it’s natural or not, and sometimes…it just isn’t (see: Joe Thornton). You can’t fake it and you shouldn’t force it. So, before the media could get to ripping JVR for his “soft” play, Burke got out ahead of things.
Here’s van Riemsdyk’s thoughts on being traded to “the Yankees of the NHL,” and Burke keeping everyone on track about what his new player really brings.
“This is not a plowhorse, this is a thoroughbred.” Great quote.