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Bringing Hexy Back • 42 Years Old • Male
What Holmgren did was not to simply create salary cap room. One does not trade the faces of his franchise in order to lock up a new goalie. The Flyers could have kept both of the players they traded away yesterday afteroon and signed Ilya Bryzgalov to the same contract and made the numbers work by moving other players.

He chose to change not just the face of his hockey club, but also it's essence.

Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were the face of the Flyers franchise. They were the twin pillars that were the crux of the team's drive to a championship. Veterans like Danny Briere and Kimmo Timonen were added to help them navigate the waters to the Stanley Cup.

Along the way, a kid from tiny Hearst, Ontario came along and wrested the role of being the team's franchise player out of the hands of Richards and Carter. Make no mistake, Claude Giroux is the franchise now.

Chris Pronger will get his share of the blame, and much will be made about his relationship with Richards. It's likely Pronger will replace Richards as the Flyers captain, and people will say that his relationship with Richards was untenable and couldn't be fixed so Richards was dealt.

I won't deny that there were issues. However to point to those issues now and say they were the end all, be all of the moves made yesterday is really stupid. The Flyers didn't trade Richards or Carter because they partied too heartily. They didn't trade Richards or Carter because they weren't good with the media. They traded them for a multitude of factors.

The Flyers have been a team that has been a Jeckyll and Hyde group since they rose from the ashes of the 2006-07 death march. Flyers fans have long joked about the team flipping the switch and going from the gang that couldn't shoot straight to SEAL Team 6.

They are the team with the 3rd highest playoff win total in the past 4 years. But they're also a team that crept into the playoffs in the last couple of days of the season in 2 out of the last 3 years. The same team that went to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final was also the team that needed a shootout win to even make the playoffs that year.

The local media had fun taking their potshots at the Flyers younger players that lived in Old City Philadelphia and lived lives with active social careers. Even yesterday, as Carter and Richards were dealt, several writers couldn't resist the urge to drop in a shot as the pair left town.

The media was not why the Flyers parted way with Richards and Carter yesterday, but the media won no respect in the way they covered the team. One hopes that Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds and Jake Voracek follow the lead of guys like Giroux, Briere and Pronger and play the game with the media, lest they get slammed for not being a good interview.

But, I digress. More than making cap room, the Flyers yesterday sent a message. That message wasn't to curtail the social life, or even to play nice with the media. The message was that flipping the switch was no longer a practical or workable situation. The message was sent loud and clear and there's no uncertainty about it.

The Flyers got a fair return yesterday for two guys they had been building around. They're not starting over or rebuilding. They are simply saying that nobody is safe if they can't bring their A game on every single night.
Filed Under:   Richards   Carter   Holmgren   Schenn  
June 24, 2011 12:16 PM ET | Delete
Got a spot at Lukin's?
June 24, 2011 12:40 PM ET | Delete
I Disagree.
June 24, 2011 12:50 PM ET | Delete
I think...even if indirectly...it IS about the nightlife of those guys. When the nightlife affects...or appears to affect...your consistency on the ice...then it's an issue. It's no coincidence that BOTH those guys were shipped out...IMO.
June 24, 2011 1:36 PM ET | Delete
I feel your pain, Richards was same scenario as Phaneuf except I think u guys got a way better return than dumb Daryl did.
June 24, 2011 3:19 PM ET | Delete
icedog is correct... you will probably here more in the near future, but Richards had Jofrey Lupul disease he caught in Old City. Out late and hammered the night before sabres game 7 didn't go over so well I guess.
June 24, 2011 3:38 PM ET | Delete
One thing I like to point out is that Richards made it obvious that he was a "Lead by Example" captain. That method is fine by me provided the player is healthy and puts his best game on the ice. Richards rarely showed moments of his best game this past year most likely due to injury and it gets to a point where leading by example just isn't enough if you can't play through the pain. A captain has to step up in other ways, specifically, the way you carry yourself on the bench and in the locker room.
June 24, 2011 4:28 PM ET | Delete
For those who are obsessed with the "too much partying" angle, be advised: many in LA feel that Simmonds began to appear in trade talks about the time he became a party-buddy of Kings star defenseman Drew Doughty..........hard to believe, young single dudes with money wanting to party !?!
June 25, 2011 5:25 PM ET | Delete
Guess the dollar bottle specials down the shore is cut short this year.
June 25, 2011 8:14 PM ET | Delete
Nice write-up, Darth Maul. I'm sending you a $1 because I got more out of this article in the last five minutes than I have for the last 10 years in the newspapers.
June 25, 2011 9:05 PM ET | Delete
hey Skip -- what does Lukin get?
June 26, 2011 9:06 AM ET | Delete
There were many factors, but ultimately the decision was made because of the Flyers inconsistencies. In 2008, they were on pace to be a 2nd or 3rd seed. Then dropped ten in row to fall to 6th. In 2009 they were up and down, and dropped to a lower seed by losing 4 out of 5 at the end of the year. In 2010, they went to the SCF-and only qualified for the playoffs in game 82.
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