Thursday, June 23, 2011

Flyers Shake Their Core In Hopes Of Future Ending Better Than Past

Following a trip to the Stanley Cup finals one year ago and an excellent regular season this past year, the Philadelphia Flyers were deemed by many to be a goaltender away from contending for the Stanley Cup.  Apparently the Flyers did not see it that way as they blew up a large part of the core of their team today in trading away their captain, Mike Richards, and center Jeff Carter.  Even with the acquisition and signing of Ilya Bryzgalov to be the answer in net, the combination of the deals changes the focus from being that contenders to looking down the road a few seasons.  

The Carter trade was somewhat expected or at least had been talked about enough to be in the consciousness to not come as a total surprise.  The move to deal Richards is a completely different story.  To deal away Richards, even for a package that includes stud prospect Brayden Schenn, says something about a dissatisfaction with what was going on in the locker room in Philadelphia.  They had to feel that combination of personalities in the locker room would not allow them to get over the hump and so they blew it up for a rebuild.

There is no disputing that the Flyers acquired good talent in the deals with Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek along with a first, second and third in the 2011 NHL Entry draft.  The hope for the Philadelphia organization now has to be that in a few years when Schenn, Voracek and Simmonds are ready to come into their own with the continued advancement of James Van Riemsdyk and the All-Star caliber play of Claude Giroux is that the aging defense will still be good enough.  

This could be a day that Flyer’s fans look back on and say it was the day that set their championship season or even dynasty into motion, but that will take all of these young players maxing out to their potential.  That is the ideal scenario for Flyer’s fans, but that is far from certain.  In the end, it could end up that none of these players or picks ever become as good as Jeff Carter or Mike Richards are right now and Paul Holmgren is vilified in Philly for taking a team that was seen as on the verge of a championship and blowing it up.  It is the chance Holmgren is taking as he obviously decided as constituted that team could not get over the hump