On Thursday the Philadelphia Flyers were the busiest NHL team making deals. Before the Flyers announced the signing of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, the Flyers made two big shocking trades. The Flyers traded captain Mike Richards and forward Rob Bordson to the Los Angeles Kings for winger Wayne Simmonds, center Brayden Schenn and a second-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft.
Richards signed a 12-year, $69 million contract extension in 2007. During the past three seasons, the 26-year-old Richards has 84 goals and 124 assists while missing just four regular-season games. Richards had 7 goals and 16 assists in 23 playoff games in 2010 as the Flyers fell two wins short of a Stanley Cup.
“We felt at this stage of the franchise it was time to make a significant move for an impact player,” Kings President and General Manager Dean Lombardi said. “Mike Richards is not only one of the top players in the league, he’s also universally recognized as one of the finer leaders in the game and one of its elite competitors. Additionally, given that he’s only 26-years-old and he’s on a long-term contract, he fits our plan now and for the long-term future.”
The Flyers also traded leading goal scorer Jeff Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forward Jakub Voracek (restricted free agent) as well as first-round pick and third-round 2011 picks.
The 26-year-old Carter, whom the Flyers selected with the 11th pick in the first round in 2003, had 36 goals, 66 points and a career-high plus-27 rating this past season. His top offensive season was in 2008-09 when he tallied 46 goals with 84 points. Carter has 181 goals and 343 points in 461 games over six seasons with Philadelphia.
Carter, meanwhile, has 11 years and $58 million remaining on a 14-year contract, an average cap hit of $5.27 million according to capgeek.com. Voracek just completed his entry-level contract and made $1.27 million this past season. He is set to be a restricted free agent.
Making those two big deals definitely cleared some cap space for the Flyers to sign goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. The Flyers signed Bryzgalov to a contract reportedly worth $51 million over 9 years. Another long contract signing by the Flyers. Should Bryzgalov be nervous about being traded out of there after two or three seasons? As Richards (who signed a 12-year contract in 2009) and Carter (who signed a 14-year contract in 2008) both signed long-term deals and are now gone.
No one saw this coming, even the players.
No one saw this Flyers Facelift coming. Richards said he was shocked. Carter declined comment and his agent said there was “total disappointment.” Source
Of course Carter is probably pissed. He’s going to the freakin Columbus Blue Jackets, who right now is rebuilding and has been for awhile it feels like. Even with Carter, the Blue Jackets are most likely not going to make the playoffs in a strong Western Conference. Meanwhile Richards is going to LA which is a team that made the playoffs last year, has strong goaltending, and with his leadership can maybe go further in the playoffs.
Around the league
Despite the Flyers making the big moves there were a few other signings.
The Montreal Canadiens re-signed often-injured defenseman Andrei Markov to a three-year contract through the 2013-14 season. No financial terms of the agreement were disclosed. (Source: NHL.com)
The San Jose Sharks re-signed restricted free agent forward Devin Setoguchi, to a three-year contract. No financial terms were disclosed. (Source: NHL.com)