Flyers Move Carter, Richards in Roster Explosion
Gone are Jeff Carter and Mike Richards.
In are Ilya Bryzgalov, Jake Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, Columbus’ 1st and 3rd round picks, and an undisclosed draft pick from Los Angeles.
The Philadelphia Flyers took the criticisms of their goaltending issues very seriously and signed Russian goaltender Bryzgalov to a 9 year, $51 million contract with a cap hit of $5.6 million per year.
To make room for his deal, they moved franchise cornerstones/rumored team cancers Jeff Carter and Mike Richards to free up cap space.
In return they got a very promising youngish forward in Jake Voracek who should flourish in Philadelphia.
Wayne Simmonds, a rough and tumble two way forward.
And Brayden Schenn, a Mike Richards clone without the holier than thou attitude.
Everyone knew the Flyers were going to sign Bryzgalov and would have to trade some players to make room for him. But the return for these players is excellent and will allow the Flyers to remain competitive.
Carter and Richards had rumors surrounding them for the past few years and it appears Philadelphia was finally done with them.
The Flyers top 9 will be vastly different come October.
That is an excellent forward group that features plenty of scoring talent as well as grit. JVR, Voracek, Schenn all have the potential to be 70 point scorers. Briere and Giroux are already 70 point guys.
While the terms of Bryzgalov’s deal are too long and for probably too much money, they have changed the culture of the team and improved their goaltending as well.
Once again the Atlantic Division got tougher and added another excellent goalie. The Penguins rivalry games have lost some of their luster with the abscence of Richards and Carter but Schenn and Simmonds will soon draw the ire of Penguins fans everywhere.
The Flyers still have old favorites Chris Pronger and Chris Hartnell as well.
As for Los Angeles and Columbus, both teams added proven all stars while giving up very little in return.
For Columbus, they traded Voracek, a player they had soured on, and the 8th overall pick in a draft that features a consensus top 6 players and a large gap in talent after that. They finally get Rick Nash a skilled talent to play with. Carter also does not have to be a leader on that team which should avoid some of the locker room issues that plagued him while in Philly.
For Los Angeles, they get that number 2 center behind Kopitar they have long desired. Schenn will likely develop into a Mike Richards type player if everything works out for him and Los Angeles does not have to wait for him to mature. Simmonds is likely not much more than a 2nd/3rd line winger that plays with an edge.
All teams involved win although Columbus and Los Angeles could have paid less if they had waited for Philadelphia to get even more desperate.
Rumor has it that Toronto had a deal on the table of winger Nikolai Kulemin and prospect Nazem Kadri for Jeff Carter but they were unwilling to move Kulemin. Los Angeles’ offer was better.