Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
If there were any doubts that Peter Laviolette is locked-in as the Flyers' Head Coach, the trades eliminated them. GM Paul Holmgren and Laviolette are reported to have a very close relationship, and its certainly plausible that if Laviolette had wanted Richards or Carter to remain in Philadelphia, they would be here. It was certainly possible for Holmgren to sign newly acquired goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov without moving either Richards' or Carter's salaries.
Reports have surfaced, dating back before the trades, that the relationship between Richards and Laviolette had deteriorated to the point that it was non-existant. While some reports went as far as to say that Richards and his head coach had not spoken in months, those reports were characterized by both sides as untrue. What is clear, however, is that something was severely amiss in the Flyer dressing room.
To find evidence of a rift between captain and coach, one need not look farther than Laviolette's own comments on the situation, where he said his relationship with Richards was "a work in progress". Apparently not enough progress was made in Laviolette's eyes, which ultimately resulted in the former franchise cornerstones' untimely departures from the City of Brotherly Love.