Blockbuster Day For The Flyers As They Trade Richards and Carter & Aquire Bryzgalov
When the Philadelphia Flyers take to the ice next season, they will be a much different-looking team.
After weeks of uncertainty and rumors abuzz, the Philadelphia Flyers made two blockbuster moves in trading captain Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings, and forward Jeff Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Carter’s name had been prevalent in trade talks since the Flyers’ season ended in early May. Trading Mike Richards was a move that caught everyone by surprise.
Mike Richards was named captain before the start of the 2008-2009 season, and has been a large factor in their recent success. This past season, while struggling with a wrist injury, he scored 23 goals and recorded a total of 66 points. During his total time with the Flyers, he scored 133 goals and recorded 349 points. While some questioned his leadership at points throughout his captaincy, there was no doubt that his teammates saw him as a strong – albeit quiet – leader in the locker room and on the ice.
Since joining the Flyers in 2005, Carter had been one of their top players. Over the last three years, he led the team in scoring, contributing a total of 181 goals during his time in Philadelphia. Last November, he signed an 11-year contract extension for $58 million dollars that would have kept him a Flyer until the 2021-2022 season if not for today’s trade.
In return for Carter and Richards, the Flyers will get Columbus’ first and third round draft picks as well as right-winger Jacub Voracek, and forwards Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds as well as a 2012 second-round draft choice from the Kings.
Last season, Voracek racked up 46 points in 80 games (14 goals, 32 assists) and had a total of 134 points in three seasons with the Blue Jackets. For LA, Simmonds recorded 30 points last season, while Schenn contributed only two (though he did only play 8 games). At 19 and 22, respectively, Schenn and Simmonds have plenty of time to perfect their craft, and they’ll have that opportunity with a new team in a new conference on a new coast.
With the focus on acquiring a strong goaltender, the Flyers seemed willing to do anything to make that happen. On June 7th, they acquired the rights to Ilya Bryzgalov, who had a record of 36-20-10 and a save percentage of .921 in the 2010-2011 season. The Flyers hoped that, at 31, Bryzgalov still has a few more years left in him. It was reported just minutes ago that Bryzgalov has signed with the Flyers – a 9-year, $51 million deal.
The three huge moves made today may not be all for the Flyers. There are rumors that they are still looking to make some additional changes over the next few days. Whatever those changes are, there is no doubt that fans in Philadelphia will see a much different Flyers team come October.