Flyers Blow it All Up.

Olde City Mourns.

Well, as you can see in this picture, Mike Richards was the captain and Jeff Carter was more of a photo-bomber.  Today the Flyers made a series of moves that will be remembered for a long time.  The question is, will they be remembered fondly? They shipped out their captain, Mike Richards. They traded away their leading goal scorer, Jeff Carter.  They brought in a treasure’s trove of unproven talent and draft picks, and signed the newest franchise goalie to a massive nine-year deal. Just another Thursday in Philadelphia for Holmgren and the boys.

The Flyers are bit like that person playing Pictionary who takes almost all their time trying to draw some immaculate masterpiece, only to trash their work and start with a clean sheet when only seconds remain on the clock.  It’s hard to get too angry at that person, and you feel the same way about the Flyers, too.  They both are trying their best.  They really are. It’s just that you almost never guess what the person is drawing, and the Flyers almost never get their personnel moves right. As much as it pains me to say it, the Flyers have a bit of Dan Snyder in them.  Always spending money, always making moves, never reaching the ultimate goal.  The Flyers have had more success than the Snyder Redskins, and hopefully these moves signal the end of Philly being the prime destination for over the hill free agents, but it’s impossible not to weigh the poor track record of various regimes when looking at this deal.

The bottom line is they needed a goalie, and those are tough to come by.  Everything else seems to be an elaborate labyrinth of dominoes that hasn’t yet completely fallen.  Needing money for Bryzgalov, the Flyers traded much maligned sniper Jeff Carter to Columbus.  Shipping off Carter certainly wouldn’t sit well with his best friend,the beleaguered captain, so you might as well trade him as well.  Los Angeles was his destination and the Flyers get uber-prospect Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds.  All told the Flyers get three players under 22 (Jakub Voracek is on the way from Columbus), and three draft picks (including the number eight pick overall) in the upcoming draft.  They sent 140 points out of town.

We won’t know for a while if the Flyers are done moving.  They now have some picks to work with.  They have some cap space as well.  There are Kris Versteeg rumors.  It looks like Ville Leino will now be back.  Will they make a run at another scorer, someone to lessen the blow of losing Carter’s 35-40 goals a year?  It’s hard to imagine a Flyers team that isn’t wedged squarely up against the limits of the salary cap.

The move shifts an incredible amount of pressure onto the new goalie and the new nucleus.  I’d expect Chris Pronger to take over captain’s duties, but he’s one year closer to being Chris Pronger in name only.  Pronger could bridge the gap until one of the young forwards was ready to take on the role, whether it be Claude Giroux, James Van Riemsdyk or someone else.  When it really counted of late, it appeared that Giroux, Van Riemsdyk and Danny Briere were the Flyers you could count on.  That was with Richards taking on the lion’s share of attention and Carter playing the role of playoff goat.  Can those three handle the full focus of the Philadelphia media and Flyers fans?

And, what about this Ilya Bryzgalov?  We know he was a very good goaltender.  In Phoenix.  Giving him a nine-year deal and expecting him to produce Cups may be a bit of a reach, but the market isn’t exactly flooded with Marty Brodeur clones.  We should know pretty quickly if Bryzgalov is the real deal or if this contract will end up being an albatross.  Either way, you can’t say the Flyers aren’t out there trying to get something done.  You just have to hope that this time they’ve landed on the right pieces.

Seems like most Flyers fans are shocked and excited.  That’s the Flyers fan way.  Opinionated but always looking forward to the next season.  All right, I’m off to get my Schenn jersey.  Holmgren will probably trade him tonight.



13 thoughts on “Flyers Blow it All Up.

  1. Wow. Hmm. I don’t actually know any of the young kids they picked up, so . . . I’m shocked, I’m excited, I still don’t understand the long hockey contracts but there you go.

  2. They just lower the average hit against the cap. They’re front loaded.

    People who have heard of these guys seem really excited about their potential.

    And, it is exciting, but they definitely gave up established commodities for it.

    It’d be like trading mike vick for cam newton or something.

  3. Sooooo, is it me or is the cap on the bottle there. He’s fake chugging? Interesting I guess.

    It seems to me that hockey more than most other sports really relies on team chemistry. You can’t just toss a bunch of new guys and FA’s into the mix and win like in basketball. Sure seems like this will be a tough road to hoe for the flyers. Not that it matters since the Range` have a sniper who forgot how to score on empty nets.

  4. yeah, cap is on the bottle. all the way.

    i think the move reflects a desire to change the chemistry. i think they thought they had a problem with Richards and Carter not being the right guys to be leaders for their younger talent. so, they get even younger and toss the real leadership responsibilities on Pronger and Briere.

    I don’t know that it makes them better immediately, but at least they aren’t being complacent with a team they know will make the playoffs but probably wouldn’t win it all.

  5. Yeah, but isn’t a hot goalie what wins the Cup anyway? It’s not like they completely petered (sp?) out, they just don’t have the goaltending. Richards and Carter might not have been the scorers they’d hoped for in the playoffs, but that could have been attention, etc and it’s not like teams are blowing guys out anyway. I don’t know, just seems like they made the move to get younger using relatively young guys and added the goalie (presumably) they’d need-but they gave up 2 main cogs. From the outside it looks like a step backwards.

  6. well, they had to trade one of them to be able to afford the goalie. they’re so closely connected, keeping one would honestly probably have been counterproductive.

    they may be relatively young, but they’ve been here for a while and I think they want to clear some space for Giroux, JVR, etc to take over the team.

    I can see how from the outside it looks like a subtraction, but not only do they get younger and get a lot of young talent, but it also helps them keep their D intact, it lets them re-sign Leino, it brings in the goalie.

    If both stayed, you’ve still got the mystery in net, you don’t have Leino, and possibly looking at having to move one of your top-4 defensemen as well.

    Also, they were in hugely long deals I think 9 and 11 years respectively. They had no-trades that kicked in after this coming season, so the window to get out from under that commitment was closing fast.

  7. Look, I’m not gonna act like I know about this Bryzgalov guy. I remember watching a Red Wings/Coyotes game though and he got lit up.

    I thought maybe it was one bad game, but when I went back to see how he did in the series it doesn’t look good.

    IN the 4 games the Red Wings won they scored 7, 3, 4, and 6 goals.

    Maybe Bryzgalov didn’t allow all of them, but that makes it even worse if he got pulled. The game where he allowed 6 goals came in game 7.


  8. Yeah, the Bryz has had two straight subpar playoff performances, and I think they were both against Detroit.

    Now, the team was obviously over-matched, but he didn’t even sniff his regular season numbers.

    It’s something I’ve definitely noticed. That said, in the ’06 playoffs with the Ducks he went 6-4 with a 1.46 GAA and .944 save percentage.

    so, it’s not a total lack of track record.

    I think the bottom line is, you don’t really know with 99% of these goalies. There could always be someone hotter, or they might not get it done, but I think you’ve got maximize your chance of getting the hot guy and I think he has a better chance of getting hot than anyone else we have.

  9. I’ll never forget the end of the season 3 years ago when Crosby missed an open net in the last 30 seconds and put in his own rebound off the boards because Carter didn’t even make an effort to get back. He has too much Ricky Davis.

    I’m bummed about Richards. Maybe his antics were a little immature, but I don’t like the trade at all. He was our best all-around player and he’s young. I would have stopped with trading Carter, but they didn’t.

  10. the Richards part of the deal is definitely the more controversial one, I think.

    I’m just assuming that getting rid of Carter they thought that would contribute to Richards’ displeasure with the whole situation here.

    and, if he kind of deflates and has a bad year, there goes his trade value.

    It’s a lot of pressure on this Schenn kid to develop. If Chris Pronger was 30, I’d love this, because it would have a few years to come together for Schenn, Simmons, Voracek, JVR, the kid they drafted tonight, i mean you just need 2 or 3 of those to reach their potential, but you have to wonder if they can’t ramp it up quick enough will the D be lagging behind in a year or two.

  11. Yeah that kind of feels like a pipe dream, Stamkos is a restricted free agent.

    It’d take some maneuvering. They’d probably have to ship Versteeg somewhere.

    And, if Tampa doesn’t sign him, they’ll be tons of competition with teams that have big cap space.

    It would be awesome, though.

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