For a week, it was all smiles in Philly after GM Paul Holmgren pulled off a trade to acquire a true No. 1 goalie. Today, those smiles have turned into utter despair and disappointment.
Granted, either Jeff Carter or Mike Richards were expected to be traded, but BOTH? You have got to be kidding me!
Paul Holmgren better be dumping salary in order to sign Alex Ovechkin or something.
Here are five reasons the Flyers' organization dropped the ball on this one.
OK, I can see the Flyers getting rid of Jeff Carter. Carter has been a let down in the playoffs and has a huge contract.
Mike Richards also has a huge contract, but he is the captain of this team. He is the heart and soul of Philadelphia hockey. He gives 110 percent every single night.
This whole Mike Richards-Chris Pronger thing has finally been solved.
In order to have the money to sign Ilya Bryzgalov, the Flyers only needed to get rid of one of these players.
Why trade both? Well, it could be two things. Paul Holmgren is blowing up the team, or he is finding some money in order to sign a big name free agent like Ville Leino.
Regardless, I think most fans would rather have Richards over Leino.
Mike Richards and Jeff Carter both put up 66 points last season. The two have been two of the scoring leaders for the Flyers for the past three or four seasons.
Two potential 30 goal scorers are now off the team. Ilya Bryzgalov better make up for those potential 60 goals next season. Not to mention the non-physical stats and skills that both players bring.
The Flyers WERE ready to win a Stanley Cup, or at least they were on their way after trading for Ilya Bryzgalov.
Now it is a little bit more unclear. It seems like Paul Holmgren is looking too far into the future when the team is plenty capable of winning now!
If the Flyers had a true No. 1 goalie the past two years, they would have won a cup.
For the first year or two, that is an easy answer. Chris Pronger will be the new captain of the Flyers. What about after he retires though? Pronger only has another two or three years left of him being able to contribute 100 percent.
The Flyers do have waiting captains in Danny Briere and Claude Giroux, but neither can replace a team leader like Mike Richards.