Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks: Happy Birthday Trevor van Riemsdyk!

By Gail Kauchak
Apr 17, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (57) reacts to missing a shot during the third period in game three of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the St. Louis Blues at the United Center. St. Louis won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 17, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (57) reacts to missing a shot during the third period in game three of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the St. Louis Blues at the United Center. St. Louis won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Two very different players have recently celebrated birthdays for the Chicago Blackhawks

Just last week we celebrated the birthday of longtime Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith. Today, we celebrate the birthday of one of the newer members of the team, fellow defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk.

Van Riemsdyk, or TVR, as people like to call him for simplicity’s sake, has been a part of the team for one full season, and a handful of games the year before that. While Keith is a known entity, TVR is someone who has yet to prove himself. These players are at two ends of the spectrum, yet they both have similar jobs to do.

Van Riemsdyk is 25 years old today. Goodness gracious, that’s young! Especially compared to the elderly Keith, who is now 33 years of age. That’s a difference of eight years!

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Although Keith is by no means past his prime. As a matter of fact, he is arguably the best defenseman on the team.  And while TVR was forced into a fourth defenseman role last year, many believe he truly belongs on the third pairing, if that.

The recent signings of both Brian Campbell and Michal Kempny lead one to believe TVR will now be able to thrive in his correct spot on the third pairing of the blue line. But with Coach Joel Quenneville and company, one never does know.

The good news is that van Riemsdyk is healthy and ready to go for the upcoming 2016-17 season. Last year, he played in all 82 regular-season games and seven postseason games. This was after he dealt with knee, wrist and ankle injuries for two seasons prior to that.

“To play in every single game was nice. When you’re doing that, there’s a lot to learn about taking care of yourself, being ready to go every night,” van Riemsdyk said at last weekend’s Blackhawks Convention. “It’s a big jump playing almost 90 games; my most ever before that was probably 40-something. But watching what all the guys do – we have so many guys who take such good care of themselves and know every possible way to better themselves – it’s a great resource.” (CSN’s Tracey Myers, July 17, 2016)

TVR also has the advantage of being able to train all summer. Last year, he was still rehabbing for most of the offseason. But this upcoming year, he has the opportunity to start strong in an environment that he is already familiar with. Plus, with the newer defensemen in the fold, the pressure will be off of him to perform above what he may be capable of. This could really be TVR’s opportunity to shine and progress within the organization.

When TVR first started with the Chicago Blackhawks, the media was constantly comparing him to his older brother, James van Riemsdyk of the Toronto Maple Leafs. If I was TVR, I would probably have punched one of those reporters in the face. But instead, he just kept smiling. This is what he is known for, his positive demeanor and his infectious smile.

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So here’s to a lot of smiles on your birthday, and to a successful year with the Chicago Blackhawks! Happy Birthday, Trevor van Riemsdyk!

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