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When the Flyers traded Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, they eliminated complacency and misplaced leadership.
Both players showed a lack of fire this past season. Richards did not play in a manner that showed he deserved the "C" on his chest. Carter should not have been an assistant captain.
Contrarily, newly-named captain Chris Pronger has been the Flyers' true leader since arriving in Philadelphia.
Three different times in his career, his presence on a team has transformed that team into a Stanley Cup finalist. In his first seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers those teams went to the Stanley Cup finals. Additionally, he was captain of the St. Louis Blues.
Danny Briere served as a captain with the Buffalo Sabres prior to joining the Flyers. A few words of his helped keep the Flyers from elimination in the first round this past offseason.
With the Flyers one period away from elimination in Game 6 of the opening round, it was Briere who stood up and got the team fired up for the final period.
Former Nashville Predators captain Kimmo Timonen will wear the other "A" next season, and also contribute in that area.
Acquiring Jaromir Jagr also helps this cause. Jagr was captain of two different NHL teams, and the living legend can easily get a team going. Furthermore, he is a former Stanley Cup champion.
Like Pronger, he knows what it takes to get there.
Adding Maxime Talbot and Andreas Lilja put two more Cup-winners on the team. Talbot is regarded as an excellent teammate and will only add positive energy to the Flyers' locker room.
The result of all these moves has transformed the attitude of the team.
Briere told NHL.com this summer,
[T]he message that I got from that was…our goal is to win the Stanley Cup. The last two years, we had the team to win the Stanley Cup and we didn't succeed, we didn't reach our goal. This organization isn't going to sit back and let the parade go by. That's the message I got. Come next year everybody better be ready to go. They're not going to just sit back.