It's not often a trade happens the day before the NHL Draft but Philadelphia GM (and Minnesota native) Paul Holmgren has drastically re-shaped the Flyers with a pair of blockbuster trades. The first trade involved sending 40-goal scorer Jeff Carter to Columbus for Jakub Voracek (the #7 pick in the 2007 NHL Draft), the #8 selection and a third round pick. Philadelphia was previously without a first round pick for the third year in a row, having sent it to Toronto for Kris Versteeg.
The second trade involved captain Mike Richards being shipped to the Los Angeles Kings for forward Wayne Simmonds, prospect forward Brayden Schenn (the #5 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft and top NHL prospect according to Hockey's Future) and a second round pick. The Flyers also signed goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to a nine-year, $51 million contract.
Even with the Ed Snider way dominating, you can't help but be happy with the return Paul Holmgren was able to get. It may be a weak draft class, but he turned his two franchise pillars into Brayden Schenn (L.A.'s future franchise player), a #8 overall pick, and two young RFA forwards who will contribute immediately, and efficiently. Holmgren did all this while obeying his boss. That alone should get him through his current contract, but the return he got for Richards and Carter likely give him security beyond that.
So what did we learn today? Ed Snider runs the Flyers based on emotion, Paul Holmgren was able to make the loss of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter palatable, and the Flyers don't do long-term. Some will call it risky, some will call it a step forward, some will call it a necessary evil.
But mostly, it's Ilya and Claude's team now.
The new draft order for tomorrow night's first round:
7. Winnipeg (formerly Atlanta Thrashers)
8. Philadelphia Flyers (from Columbus Blue Jackets)
10. Minnesota Wild
11. Colorado (from St. Louis Blues)
13. Calgary Flames
14. Dallas Stars
15. New York Rangers
16. Buffalo Sabres
19. Edmonton (from Los Angeles Kings)
20. Phoenix Coyotes
21. Ottawa (from Nashville Predators)
22. Anaheim Ducks
23. Piitsburgh Penguins
24. Detroit Red WIngs
25.Toronto (from Philadelphia)
28. San Jose Sharks
30. Toronto (from Boston)