This is a David Letterman-esque list of the best and worst trades in Flyers history-at least in my opinion. I hope you enjoy and have some ideas of your own.
Many, many, many thanks to living hockey encyclopedia Bruce "Scoop" Cooper, who provided a lot of the details on these trades.
10. Traded Serge Bernier, Jimmy Johnson and Bill Lesuk to the Los Angeles Kings for Bill Flett, Ross Lonsberry, Eddie Joyal and Jean Potvin. Flyers GM: Keith Allen
This trade landed two key contributors to the Flyers first Stanley Cup team in Flett and Lonsberry. The late Flett was a member of the team's top line in 1974 and Lonsberry played for the Flyers for six years and was a good solider.
9. Traded Pete Peeters to the Boston Bruins for Brad McCrimmon. Flyers GM:Keith Allen
Trading Peeters, who did win the Vezina in his first year in Boston, was a pretty hefty price. But McCrimmon joined with Mark Howe to form the best defensive pairing in team history. The trade also cleared the way for young goalies Pelle Lindbergh and Bob Froese to lay claim to the NHL job, which turned out pretty well for the Flyers. Peeters never really had much success after that first year in Beantown, and he eventually rejoined the Flyers at the end of his career.
8. Traded Dainius Zubrus and third and sixth round draft choices(Matt Carkner and Scott Selig) to the Montreal Canadiens for Mark Recchi. Flyers GM:Bob Clarke
Recchi's return provided the Flyers with an excellent all around winger who could fill a void on the top two lines and the cost was basically the enigmatic Zubrus, who has really only blossomed now in the past few years. Recchi played at or near an all star level for the Flyers for five years.
7. Traded Ron Sutter and Murray Baron to the St Louis Blues for Rod Brind'Amour and Dan Quinn. Flyers GM: Russ Farwell
Sutter was a gritty and proud Flyer, but getting Brind'Amour, who was a key component for almost a decade was a smooth move by the Flyers.
6. Traded Bernie Parent and a second round draft choice(Rick Kehoe) to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Mike Walton, Bruce Gamble and a first round draft choice(Pierre Plante)
Immediately traded Walton to the Boston Bruins for Rick MacLeish and Danny Schock. Flyers GM: Keith Allen
Trading Parent one of the ten best trades in Flyers history? Jsaq, are you nuts? The answer to both is, of course, YES. Parent was a very good goalie when he was traded, but going to Toronto to be mentored by his idol, Jacques Plante, made him great.
However, spinning Walton to the Bruins for MacLeish was the key. It gave the Flyers their first 50 goal and 100 point man, and MacLeish also scored the Stanley Cup winner in 1974. MacLeish was a key piece of the Broad Street Bullies and is one of the most overlooked stars in team history.
5. Traded Mike Ricci, Peter Forsberg, Steve Duchesne, Kerry Huffman, Ron Hextall, two first round draft choices(Nolan Baumgartner & Jocelyn Thibault, a player to be named(Chris Simon) and $15 million cash to the Quebec Nordiques for the rights to Eric Lindros. Flyers GM: Russ Farwell
Yes, they gave up a boatload, but Lindros provided the star power that helped the Flyers built the Wachovia Center(nee the First Union Center, nee the Core States Center) and also helped lead the team to the 1997 Stanley Cup finals, won a Hart Trophy as league MVP and honestly was one of the league's most dominant players during his time as a Flyer.
4. Traded Al MacAdam, Larry Wright and a first round draft choice(Ron Chipperfield) to the California Golden Seals for Reggie Leach. Flyers GM: Keith Allen
Leach was a talented underachiever when the Flyers nabbed him. He blossomed when re-united with former Flin Flon Bombers teammate Bobby Clarke. Those two joined with Hall of Famer Bill Barber to form the deadly LCB line that was dominant in the second half of the 1970's. Leach still holds the single season record for most goals by a Flyer, with 61 in 1975-76. He also grabbed a Conn Smythe trophy in 1976 with a then record 21 playoff goals.
3. Traded Greg Adams, Ken Linseman and first and third round draft choices (David Jensen and Leif Karlsson) to the Hartford Whalers for Mark Howe and a third round draft choice(Derrick Smith). Flyers GM: Keith Allen
This would have rated second, except that Adams and Linseman had more success with other teams than the guys the Flyers traded away in the the deal that came in second. Howe remains the best defenseman in Flyers history and should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Smith was a hard working grinder that was a familiar face on the teams that battled the Edmonton dynasty in the mid 1980's.
2. Traded Mark Recchi and a third round draft choice(Martin Hohenberger) to the Montreal Canadiens for John LeClair, Gilbert Dionne and Eric Desjardins. Flyers GM: Bob Clarke
Recchi was a steep price, but LeClair became a 4 time 50 goal scorer with the Flyers, teaming with Eric Lindros and Mikeal Renberg to form the "Legion Of Doom" line. Desjardins simply became the second best defenseman to ever wear the orange and black.
Both players, especially LeClair, became stars after the trade. Recchi played well for the Habs, but was dealt back to the Flyers within a few years for Dainius Zubrus and wasted draft choices.
1. Traded Doug Favell and a first round draft pick(Bob Neely) to the Toronto Maple Leafs for the rights to Bernie Parent and a second round draft choice(Larry Goodenough) Flyers GM: Keith Allen
Without this one, the Flyers never hoist the Stanley Cup. 'Nuff said.
Traded Eric Lindros and a conditional draft pick to the New York Rangers for Pavel Brendl, Jan Hlavac, Kim Johnsson and a third round draft choice(Stefan Ruzicka).
This trade brought in Johnsson, who was a very good defenseman for the Flyers, before he signed with Minnesota as a free agent. Hlavac was traded for tough guy Donald Brashear and Brendl was traded for Sami Kapanen. Brashear was a solid player and good enforcer for the Flyers and Kapanen remains as a valuable contributor to this day.
Traded Tommy Soderstrom to the New York Islanders for Ron Hextall and a sixth round draft choice(Dimitry Tertyshny)
Soderstrom never really did much after a good rookie season. Hextall's return solidified the Flyers goaltending and he brought back some snarl to the organization. Tertyshny, who died in a boating accident, looked to be a really good young defenseman.
Traded Mikeal Renberg and Karl Dykhuis to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Flyers four first round draft choices that went to Tampa as compensation for signing restricted free agent Chris Gratton. Those picks became Simon Gagne, Justin Williams, Maxime Ouellet and Jeff Woywitka.
Traded Brian Boucher and a third round draft choice to the Phoenix Coyotes for Michal Handzus and Robert Esche.
Boucher had some high points in Phoenix, but Esche and Handzus were huge parts of the Flyers 2004 run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Handzus, especially, filled a ton of roles from first line center to shut down center, to faceoff specialist to penalty killer. Esche had his moments of lunacy, but usually provided solid goaltending. Boucher signed a minor league contract with the Flyers this summer.
10. Traded Michal Handzus to the Chicago Blackhawks for Kyle Calder. Flyers GM: Bob Clarke.
Handzus was another one of those warrior-types. Calder was a waste of space, remembered more for his heroic consumption of chicken wings at the Flyers' Wives Fight For Lives Carnival than anything he did in his mercifully short stay in Philly.
9. Traded Kent Manderville to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Billy Tibbetts. Flyers GM: Bob Clarke.
Manderville was not what you'd call a great player. But he was a class act and hard worker. Tibbetts wasn't half the player that Manderville was, and to boot he was a criminal and something of a jerk. One of the few guys that I was disgusted by the Flyers trading for.
8. Traded Patrick Sharp and Eric Meloche to the Chicago Blackhawks for Matt Ellison and third round draft choice(transferred to Montreal, Ryan White). Flyers GM:Bob Clarke
Sharp has become a pretty good player for the 'Hawks, currently sitting at 10 goals this season. Ellison was an AHLer for most of his brief time in Philly. Sharp, like Justin Williams(who we'll hear more of soon enough), was a victim of Ken Hitchcock and his hit or miss treatment of young players.
Perhaps this one is a little bit high, but the Flyers really could have used a gritty talented guy like Sharp last season, and he was traded away for nothing. This is a situation that happens again and again with the Clarke Era-he seemed to make a lot of knee jerk deals, with little or no foresight.
Several times, when he dealt away picks, young NHL level players or prospects, it didn't come back to bite him in the butt. This is one that did.
7. Traded Maxime Ouellet and first, second and third round draft choices(Martin Vagner, Maxime Daigneault and Derek Krestanovich) to the Washington Capitals for Adam Oates. Flyers GM: Bob Clarke
This trade looks a little better with the benefit of hindsight, but it's still a stinker. Ouellet was seen by most Flyers fans as the goalie of the future, mainly because the Flyers refused to include him in a trade with Boston a year earlier for Raymond Bourque. The picks were wasted by the Caps-the first rounder was traded to Dallas, who selected Vagner.
There are circumstances that make this deal-even at the time-make some sense. This was a deal made an hour or two before the trade deadline in 2002. The night before the Flyers had lost their top two centers-Keith Primeau and Jeremy Roenick- to knee injuries in a game in Tampa. They had no idea of the severity of the injuries and were facing heading into the playoffs with the likes of Jiri Dopita, Peter White and Fudgy the Whale playing center. Oates was leading the NHL in assists at the time of the trade.
Still, had they traded for Bourque the previous year, they might not have needed to overpay for Oates.
6. Traded Vaclav Prospal, Pat Falloon and Dallas' previously acquired second round draft choice(Chris Bala) to the Ottawa Senators for Alexandre Daigle. Flyers GM: Bob Clarke
Prospal is still a very effective player. Daigle was almost as big a bust in Philly as he was in Ottawa. Daigle lasted almost EXACTLY one year in Philly, before being dealt for Andrei Kovalenko.
5. Traded Dave Poulin to the Boston Bruins for Ken Linseman. Flyers GM: Bob Clarke.
Poulin was the captain of the great teams of the 1980's. The idea was that trading such a key figure-Poulin was the Rod Brind'Amour of his day-would shake up a team that was careening to a non playoff year for the first time in almost 20 years.
Unfortunately, Linseman was at the end of his rope. He did nothing to stem the tide, while Poulin went on to have several more good years with the Bruins and Capitals.
This trade was the harbinger of the collapse of the team that saw the Flyers miss the postseason for five years. It led to the end of the first Clarke Era and ushered in neophyte Russ Farwell as GM.
4. Traded Brad McCrimmon to the Calgary Flames for first and third round draft choices. (first rounder traded later to Toronto, third rounder was Dominic Roussel). Flyers GM: Bob Clarke
McCrimmon was the first key piece of the mid 1980's teams traded away, and the Flyers got NOTHING in return. His departure left a huge void on defense and also sent a bad message to the rest of the troops.
3. Traded Justin Williams to the Carolina Hurricanes for Danny Markov. Flyers GM:Bob Clarke
The Flyers really needed defensive help in 2004 and Markov did help immensely. But Williams has developed into an excellent scoring line winger who works hard and has the tools to get even better.
This trade is really hurt by what the Flyers did afterwards-dumped Markov for a third round draft pick.
2. Traded Rod Brind'Amour, Jean Marc Pelletier and a second round draft choice(Argis Saviels) to the Carolina Hurricanes for Keith Primeau and a fifth round draft choice-later transfered to the New York Islanders. Flyers GM: Bob Clarke
Yes, we all know that Primeau had one of the greatest playoff runs in team history in 2004. We also know that he ended the 5 OT marathon in Pittsburgh. We also know that Primeau was one of the players that openly complained to the press about head coach Bill Barber after the embarrassing playoff ouster in 2002. He was also one of the underachievers who led the Flyers to several first round playoff loses.
Brind'Amour was a good soldier for the Flyers. The guy literally BLED Orange and Black. He's led the Hurricanes to a pair of Stanley Cup finals and one Cup win. He's still going strong, two years after Primeau played his final NHL game because of post concussion syndrome.
1. Traded Mike Ricci, Peter Forsberg, Steve Duchesne, Kerry Huffman, Ron Hextall, two first round draft choices(Nolan Baumgartner & Jocelyn Thibault), a player to be named (Chris Simon) and $15 million cash to the Quebec Nordiques for the rights to Eric Lindros. Flyers GM: Russ Farwell
I did have this listed as one of the best trades, but like everything with Lindros, there's very little that is black and white. Look at the names that went to Quebec. Forsberg, a certain Hall of Famer. Ricci, an outstanding third line center and gritty guy that killed himself to win games. Duchesne, who was one of the better offensive defensemen of his day. Hextall, who was still a pretty good goalie at that point.
That doesn't even cover the fact that a key piece in the Patrick Roy trade was the result of one of the two first rounders(Thibault). I am not daft enough to suggest that had the Flyers not made this trade that they would have won a slew of Stanley Cups, but without this trade, the Avalanche might not have had any.
Finally, this trade was made as the Flyers were on the cusp of making the playoffs after Clarke's inability to deal off the old pieces of the 1980's team for more than failed draft choices and suspect prospects. Adding Lindros, despite the attention and star power, gutted the team and delayed the playoffs for another couple few seasons.
Traded third and fifth round draft choices to the Winnipeg Jets for Stephane Beauregard.
ANY trade that sees your team getting Beauregard is a BAD trade for you.
Traded Josef Beranek to the Vancouver Canucks for Shawn Antoski
Antoski was a talentless goon, while Beranek wasn't a bad little forward with some ability.
Traded Danny Markov to the Nashville Predators for a third round draft choice-which was later traded to Los Angeles.
Instead of keeping Markov, they traded him away and used the cap space to sign Derian Hatcher and Mike Rathje.
Traded Martin Spanhel and first and fourth round draft choices(Daniel Briere & Mike Martone) for Pat Falloon.
Falloon was a disaster in Philadelphia, earning the nickname "Fat Balloon". The Flyers kind of made up for this by signing Briere as a free agent this past summer.
In closing, I don't feel that the time is right to analyze the trades made by Paul Holmgren just yet. For the most part, it looks as if Homer made several really good trades. But, outside of the Forsberg and Calder trades(Forsberg to Nashville for Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent and a first rounder and Calder to Chicago for Lasse Kukkonen), the jury is still out.
I mean, so far, the acquisition of Marty Biron looks like a stroke of genius. But, Biron hasn't proven he's a guy that can be the goalie for a playoff team and given Buffalo's drafting record, the second rounder the Flyers traded for him might become a star.
Still, I am pretty damned happy with the work of Paul Holmgren and his staff-Chris Pryor, Don Luce and Dave Brown as well as former GM and staffers like Bob Clarke, Ron hextall and Dean Lombardi.