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The Puck Stops Here

Flyers Take A Step Backwards

The Philadelphia Flyers have significantly remade their roster.  They made a series of moves that move them further away from any shot at the Stanley Cup. 

The mistake seems to be an adherence to the “final piece” theory of hockey.  A team needs a final piece to win and that piece must be acquired at all cost.  Apparently that piece in Philadelphia is goaltending and the goaltender to solve the problems is Ilya Bryzgalov. 

Bryzgalov was signed to a huge contract worth $51 million in 9 years.  He is signed until 2020 when he turns 40.  In order to clear salary cap room arguably their best two best forwards in Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were traded.  They were traded for young players.  Even if these deals work out, the players they got in return will not be ready to be NHL stars until Bryzgalov is beyond his prime.

Bryzgalov is a pretty good goalie.  He finished sixth in the Vezina Trophy race last season.  He had a slight improvement statistically from the 2009/10 year (his saves percentage improved from .920 to .921).  In 2009/10, he was overrated by voters because he was a key player on the Phoenix Coyotes who succeeded despite being in bankruptcy.  That storyline earned him Hart Trophy votes that he didn’t really deserve. 

That isn’t to say that Bryzgalov is not a good goalie.  I think he is about the sixth best goalie in hockey.  His Vezina placement is likely approximately correct.  His salary cap hit is about right given his ability, but he won’t be worth it by the end of the deal.  The contract is very longterm and likely pays Bryzgalov as a star while he is into a decline phase.

Philadelphia is a team that has needed a top goalie for several years.  Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton are journeymen goalies who have done reasonably well at times but it is hard to count on them longterm.  Sergei Bobrovsky may be the answer.  He was a pretty good rookie this season.  He looked like a rookie of the year candidate when he first hit the NHL, but as NHL players got a chance to see him his progress slowed.  By playoff time, he wasn’t a safe option anymore.  Nevertheless he put up a solid .915 saves percentage as a rookie.  For now he is Bryzgalov’s backup, but it is quite possible that he will take over the goaltending duties and make Bryzgalov a high paid back-up if the two are kept together for a few years.

In the last three years, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were the top two scorers on the Philadelphia Flyers two of the last three years.  This year was the exception as Claude Giroux and Danny Briere took those positions leaving them for third and fourth.  Both have strong defensive value and are thus worth more than their offensive numbers alone.  Both are 26 years old and are likely at or near the primes of their careers.

Carter was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jakub Voracek and their 2011 first round draft pick.  Voracek was a 2007 first round draft pick.  He will be 22 by next season.  He scored 50 points two years ago and that is his career best so far.  If the draft pick this year and Voracek develop they might be worth Jeff Carter, but it won’t happen this year.  It won’t happen for several years.  By that time, Bryzgalov should be in his mid-30s and will likely not be the goalie that he is today.

Richards was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and a 2012 second round draft pick.  Simmonds will be 23 next season.  Two years ago was his career best season to date.  He scored 40 points and put up good puck possession numbers (he has a +22 +/- rating).  He did not progress last year as he dropped to 30 points, but he is a young forward with strong two-way skills who could continue to develop.  Brayden Schenn was a 2009 first round draft pick.  He has thus far played nine NHL games.  He has been a very good junior player so far but it is unclear how well he will play in the NHL.  Obviously a second round draft pick that is a year from selection is not a sure thing and is not ready now.

It is entirely possible that the Philadelphia Flyers acquired the pieces of a good core five years down the road.  It is not ready now.  By that time Ilya Bryzgalov may be past his prime.  He probably won’t be playing as well as he is now.  It makes no sense to acquire a “final piece” if his acquisition requires the trading away of two other pieces good enough to be “final pieces” for future players in order to stay under the salary cap.  The loss of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards weakens the team today more than the addition of Ilya Bryzgalov helps.  The trades might help in the future, if they work out, but by then Bryzgalov will likely have less value than he does today.

The Philadelphia Flyers made a series of moves yesterday that will set the direction of their future.  These moves do not make much sense.  A goalie was added but at very high cost.  The cost makes the Philadelphia Flyers less likely to win the Stanley Cup than they were before the deals.  They may have a better goalie but they have fewer top level forwards in their prime.  I think the Philadelphia Flyers made a mistake.

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Comments

Chet's avatar

i think he contract is under $2M for at least the last two years. he’ll retire or be bought out.

it is 100% true that the flyers overreacted and overpaid, though.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 06/24/11 at 04:58 PM ET

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Overreacting is what the Flyers do best.  As a Devils fan, I heartily applaud the Flyers for yesterday’s moves.

Posted by Devils In The Details on 06/24/11 at 05:02 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I have no faith that Bryzgalov will be in the league to honor years 6-9 of that contract and every reason to believe he will go back to Russia when the time is right. 

Also, what is your take on the rumors that the Flyers got rid of Richards because he was a bad locker room presence more than their need to clear more cap space?  It doesn’t make sense to trade the team captain solely to clear space.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/24/11 at 05:10 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

My main take on the stories of lockerroom issues leading to the trade of Mike Richards is that for public relations reasons teams have a long history of attacking a player’s character before trading a popular player. I think this is probably an example.

When you look at the Flyers salary cap picture Richards was a target to be moved if a deal like this was to be made.  We don’t need any other explanation to why he was traded.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 06/24/11 at 05:19 PM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

Bryzgalov should be fine behind the Flyers defence. His contract is steep and lengthy but it does give them stability they’ve lacked in goal.

Voracek has hit 50 points once in the league, so the Flyers do get one fairly strong offensive player back. He will have to be re-signed, but it will presumably be much less than Carter was paid, and he’s also younger. Schenn is the wildcard, but his play at the world juniors would seem to suggest he is very much on track to become an impact player in the NHL. How far back the Flyers offence has fallen depends on how fast that happens.

They start to look a lot like the winning Boston team with these trades.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 06/24/11 at 05:26 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Thanks for the interesting analysis.  A few things:

- Do you think that this piece might be premature given the draft and July 1st are a week away?

- Having watched the team in the playoffs the past two years there is no doubt in my mind that Briere, Giroux, Hartnell, Leino, and VanRemsdynk have been superior performers to Carter and Richards given what was being asked of them by this staff.

Giroux was so good two years ago that he was viewed as their primary lockdown forward, supplanting the Captain’s role; all the while he kept an equal scoring pace with Richards throughout the playoffs.  Carter was nowhere to be found among the leading scorer, odd for somebody who netted 50 regular season goals.

I certainly don’t want to diminish the loss of these two players (because I do think that they’re really good), but I would suggest that you may be premature with your cup run assessment and your subsequent five year projection by skimming over what the five forwards I mentioned earlier can do with increased roles on the team and the possible re-acquisition of a player like Simone Gange in a few weeks time.  Let’s revisit this debate in August.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/24/11 at 05:27 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

So the six months worth of rumors was just the Flyers wagging the dog?

I don’t buy that.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/24/11 at 05:28 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

If Richards was a good enough captain to take the team to the Stanley Cup finalsin 2010, I have faith in his abilities.

I also think that for the most part captaincy in the NHL is an overrated thing.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 06/24/11 at 05:32 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

When you look at the Flyers salary cap picture Richards was a target to be moved if a deal like this was to be made.  We don’t need any other explanation to why he was traded.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 06/24/11 at 03:19 PM ET

Not sure if ignoring the numbers on the ice is smart way to conclude why this was done, I would point out that Giroux is becoming a superior player to Richards, which made him expendable regardless of drugs, sex, or general tomfoolery.

Looking at this past season, Giroux had more TOI, more pts, and a better +/-:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/PHI/2011.html

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/24/11 at 05:33 PM ET

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I hope Philly didn’t hurt their team too much by trading Richard’s and Carter.

Posted by davomack34 on 06/24/11 at 05:38 PM ET

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to the author:
Don’t mean to be rude, but wow, what a load of crap this article is.
Look, Carter and Richards are about the 5th and 6th best forwards on the team.  Having a defensive center as the top line guy is a poor choice.  I would have thought this was pretty obvious after the last 2 years.  These losers were just taking ice from the good players.  Also, with blatant character problems, not being stuck with them for 10 years is a no-brainer.  Personally I would have traded Richards straight across for Voracek.  This guy is gonna thrive in philly.
If you think they had a prayer at a cup with that goaltending, then you are a tremendous moron.  Their cup run was pretty flukey, and relied heavily on Pronger.  This team just improved their contention.  Not the other way around.  I really thought this year would have convinced people that the “you don’t need a goalie” crap was stupid.  And guess what; playing 40 games well like Bobrovsky did, should not have gotten Flyer-nation so creamed up.  It takes years to prove consistency in net.  Best thing Philly has done in years.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt on 06/24/11 at 05:40 PM ET

Russian Rocket's avatar

Personally I would have traded Richards straight across for Voracek.  This guy is gonna thrive in philly.

This remains to be seen, while I think he has untapped potential he has been said to have some off the ice issues in Columbus.  The same off the ice issues that were being said about Mike Richards. It’s not out of the question to imagine those issues surfacing and being magnified in a city like Philadelphia.

Posted by Russian Rocket on 06/24/11 at 05:55 PM ET

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I agree with most of your post, but this?

The mistake seems to be an adherence to the “final piece” theory of hockey.

I would have to argue against that.  “Final piece” is when you go out and get that one piece you were missing, not when you trade away two of your best-producing forwards, including your captain.

Posted by Garth on 06/24/11 at 05:58 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I still don’t think this was a “final piece” situation or that the Flyers’ main motivation for trading Richards was his on-ice numbers.

Justin Bourne wrote a pretty good piece on what bad locker room chemistry can do to a team.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Bourne-Blog-How-bad-dressing-room-affects-a-tea?urn=nhl-wp7904&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

This is the part of being a GM that is likely the hardest for a sabremetrician to fully grasp.  Sometimes trading away good producers is a necessity to team chemistry.  You can’t just collect all of the best talent, walk away, and expect to come back to a clubhouse holding a cup.

I also absolutely don’t believe that this is the Flyers trying to smear Richards’ reputation as a cover-up for the “real” reason they traded him.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/24/11 at 06:05 PM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

Yeah, if you’re looking to assign a clichéd hockey theory to these trades, I think it’s ‘build from the net out’.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 06/24/11 at 06:06 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

I’m still trying to figure out why PSH relegated a 23 year old Claude Giroux to half a sentence in this entire assessment.  The numbers don’t lie.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/24/11 at 06:18 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Giroux had a good season.  Is it repeatable?

Even if it is does it matte to my pointr?  The point is that Philadelphia got rid of two of their best forwards in order to overpay a goalie.  They are a weaker team without Carter and Richards no matter what Giroux might do.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 06/24/11 at 06:36 PM ET

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“Giroux had a good season.  Is it repeatable?”
Dude.  This guy is obviously gonna be a superstar.  The real question is, did Richards or Carter have a good season left in them.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt on 06/24/11 at 06:42 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

I expect Richards and Carter are more valuable to their team next year than Giroux is.  That said, it is quite likely that they could all have approximately similar value next season.

Richards and Carter have better track records and are better defensive players.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 06/24/11 at 06:47 PM ET

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So the six months worth of rumors was just the Flyers wagging the dog?

I don’t buy that.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/24/11 at 03:28 PM ET

Regarding Richards’ attitude (which seemed pretty bad in interviews) and the rumors of problems in the locker room, those aren’t six months old, they’re about 3 years old, but it’s worth noting ALL of them come through the lens of the media in Philadelphia, who are a bunch of dicks. And not a bunch of dicks like the guys in Toronto who ask the same question 98 times per day and sensationalize everything, but a bunch of dicks like one of the Philly media actually tried to fight Richards when Richards said he wrote a lie (which he probably did).

Is Richards a jerk? I think so, but I can’t stand the guy. However, regarding all this locker-room stuff, it very well may be true, but I just don’t trust the sources, one of whom is the guy who got Eklund off the ground. Another one was, like, partying on twitter when he heard Richards had been traded.

Remember, these are the same people who were writing about how Lindros wouldn’t play through injuries when he was in a bathtub on the verge of death from internal bleeding from doing so.

Posted by steviesteve on 06/24/11 at 06:47 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 06/24/11 at 04:36 PM ET

You seem fixed on the notion that they overpaid for Bryz rather than they had to move these two forwards because they were no longer contributing at the level that was expected of them by the coaching staff and their were other pieces on the roster that merited increased responsiblity due to their performance over the past two years in both the regular season and post season under the existing coaching staff.

I think you can make a point for either theory, neither will be 100% correct.  At the very least, your article would’ve benefited from including more on the latter.  Do we agree?

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/24/11 at 06:48 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Leo

We don’t agree because I do not accept your premise at all. 

I don’t imagine that Richards or Carter would have been traded at all were it not for the salary cap and Philadelphia’s precarious position surrounding it.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 06/24/11 at 06:51 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Richards and Carter have better track records and are better defensive players.
Posted by PuckStopsHere on 06/24/11 at 04:47 PM ET

Perhaps you need to re-watch the last two seasons of playoffs and various regular season games while following the statistical trends since Stevens was purged. 

Giroux has replaced Richards as the premier two-way player on that roster.  Carter is another level down from both of them.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/24/11 at 06:52 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

I don’t imagine that Richards or Carter would have been traded at all were it not for the salary cap and Philadelphia’s precarious position surrounding it.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 06/24/11 at 04:51 PM ET

That is fine, but for the benefit of your readers you failed to point out some critical statistics to help you conclude your premature assessment of these trades.  I’m hoping these comments painted a fuller picture for those of us who are interested in breaking down these trades.

After all, this was a team that was swept from the second round this past season with two 26 year olds entering their prime that commanded 18-20 mins of rink time per game.

Revisiting your conclusion in August and next July will certainly be interesting, I look forward to that.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/24/11 at 06:58 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Getting to the second round means the Flyers are one of the eight best teams in hockey.  In a 30 team league that isn’t too bad.

Without Richards and Carter in their lineup but with Bryzgalov in goal, I think they are now a step below that level for next year.

Your argument seems to be that the Flyers didn’t win the cup last year so they need to make changes to see that it happens later.  Thus you applaud any changes even change for the worse.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 06/24/11 at 07:01 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Getting to the second round means the Flyers are one of the sixteen best teams in hockey.  In a 30 team league, that indicates they’re close, but need to make some changes.

Hell, it doesn’t even mean that every time.  Neither of 2010’s ECF teams would have made the playoffs in the West.

Can we stop pretending that the Flyers’ trip to the cup Finals meant they should have been treated as real cup contenders?  The only thing that prevented the massively more talented Blackhawks from sweeping them was the inability of Joel Quenneville to come up with a gameplan by which Goliath slew David quickly.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/24/11 at 07:09 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

JJ

EIGHT teams make the second round in the playoffs.

It is true they are not necessarily the best eight teams, but when somebody such as Leo argues that the fact they made the second round of the playoffs is evidence of a problem, it must be pointed out that making the second round is evidence of being in the top eight.  It is evidence of strength and not a problem.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 06/24/11 at 07:13 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Without Richards and Carter in their lineup but with Bryzgalov in goal, I think they are now a step below that level for next year.

Your argument seems to be that the Flyers didn’t win the cup last year so they need to make changes to see that it happens later.  Thus you applaud any changes even change for the worse.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 06/24/11 at 05:01 PM ET

You are wrong, there is no argument here. 

I am merely here to help educate your readers by adding some critical roster assessments that you chose to ignore in your piece by helping them formulate a more educated reaction the the trades some 24 hours after they occurred.

Your conclsion is that the Flyers are no longer a top 8 NHL club for the next five years after the moves they made yesterday. 

Let’s revisit in August and next July to see how your theory from “the day after the trades” held up.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/24/11 at 07:17 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Your conclsion is that the Flyers are no longer a top 8 NHL club for the next five years after the moves they made yesterday

Wrong Leo.  Your reading comprehension is better than this.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 06/24/11 at 07:20 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Leo argues that the fact they made the second round of the playoffs is evidence of a problem

My man, please stop taking my words out of context.

One more time:
- I enjoyed your piece as I always do. 
- I thought you left out some critical roster evaluations of the Flyers that would have benefited your readers.
- I think it is premature to say that this team is no longer a top 8 club.

Godspeed to your theory smile

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/24/11 at 07:21 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I know how many teams make the second round.

I also do think that Philadelphia was among the eight best teams in the playoffs this season (but I don’t think they were in the previous season when they made it to the Cup Finals, which by your logic would indicate that they were the second-best team).  Hell, I think that Philadelphia was one of the two best Eastern teams and likely one of the best five teams in the entire playoffs before the second-season started.

I would argue that, looking at their roster, when somebody like Leo argues that the the fact that they didn’t make it past the second round of the playoffs is evidence of a problem, that somebody like Leo understands their roster last year was too good to perform as poorly as they did through the second half of the season and in the playoffs. 

I also think that part of that problem was that the team’s captain and coach had apparently not spoken for much of the 2nd half and that there was division in the locker room which created sufficient distraction to make a good team on paper into an underperforming one.

That is not to say that Richards’ salary cap space was not a part of the consideration, but I do not believe it was the entire consideration and I do not believe it was among the necessary steps to ensure the Flyers could sign Bryzgalov.  As a result, I don’t believe that the motivation behind the Flyers’ actions yesterday can be so easily boiled down to a case of the “missing piece” cliche.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/24/11 at 07:25 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

I think Tyler Dellow has a very good piece on this topic.

He looks at why the longterm contracts Carter and Richards signed were bad deals for both players and directly led to their deals.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 06/24/11 at 07:44 PM ET

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Unless Philly has more moves up their sleeves PSH is right, imo.

Giroux had a great year, but until he repeats it two or three more times, it’s waaaaay premature to say he’s supplanted Richards (a gold medalist, perenial selke candidate, perennial 70 point player and proven playoff performer) as the Flyers’ best two way player. The safe bet, until then, is that Giroux’s a guy who just succeeded under ideal conditions (such as Mikael Renberg or Jonathan Cheechoo)—conditions that have just changed. Schenn is an unknown quantity. Scouts like him enough, but he’s done nothing in the big-time yet.

Philadelphia traded a lot of numbers written in ink for a similar amount of numbers written in erasable chalk, plus a slightly better goalie.


Perhaps you need to re-watch the last two seasons of playoffs and various regular season games while following the statistical trends since Stevens was purged.

Giroux has replaced Richards as the premier two-way player on that roster.  Carter is another level down from both of them.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/24/11 at 04:52 PM ET

I don’t know where you’re going with this. Richards playoff numbers were better two years ago. He had 4 less assists, last year, but the context for that is that Giroux was riding the JVR train and Richards was not. Anybody watching that Boston series could see that JVR was getting it done all by himself. He was generating golden scoring chances even on his double-shifts with Powe.

Posted by steviesteve on 06/24/11 at 07:50 PM ET

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EIGHT teams make the second round in the playoffs.

But they don’t all play each other.  Chicago lost in the first round, but they gave Vancouver almost all they could handle, whereas Nashville beat the Ducks and lost 4-2 to Vancouver.  Is it fair to say that Nashville is better than Chicago?  Who’s to say that Chicago wouldn’t have beaten Nashville if they played?

Unless they played a round robin tournament, you can’t simply come to the conclusion that the 8 teams that made the second round are all better than the 8 teams that didn’t.

Hell, there were two teams in the West that didn’t make the playoffs but had more points than the Rangers did.  Is it fair to say that the Rangers are better than the Flames or Stars simply because they made the playoffs?

Posted by Garth on 06/24/11 at 08:03 PM ET

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I believe Bryzgalov’s contract is front loaded so that as he gets older he will be being paid less and will be more tradeable or at least replaced by Bobrovsky if they keep him or another younger goalie.  I believe this article is the first place I’ve ever seen Carter called strong defensively.
The fact is despite everyone saying the Flyers were built to win the Cup now, they did not win it and in fact went backwards from last year to this past season in terms of how far they went.  It seams that many good goalies often play at their best in their mid 30’s.  Either way I just don’t think they were going to win a cup without a change at goalie, but it would have been a mistake to think that was the ONLY piece, and had they waited for Bobrovsky to be ready to win a cup, their key defensemen would have been too old.  The moves they made yesterday will only end up being the “right” moves if the moves they make in the draft and FA are the right ones.  The transformation is incomplete, but if they do take a step back I don’t see it being more than a year or two at the very most.  Who knows when (or IF) they would have broken through to win a cup had they done nothing?

Posted by Kal from PA on 06/24/11 at 11:57 PM ET

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Second place is just the first loser. Want the good rumor going around for awhile now. The reason that Scott Hartnell got divorced the end of last year was because Jeff Carter was sleeping with his wife. Isn’t the first time the Flyers got rid of a player in that situation Alledgely the same reason they got rid of Rod Brind A’more except Lindros was sleeping with his wife. And both Richards and Carter liked to party alot. Used to see them in Olde City bars all of the time. As far as if they’re better or worse, the team that gets hot at the right time is usually the winner. Boston had a hot goalie, a couple of hot player’s and a good defense and beat a team that they shouldn’t have. Same with the Flyers two playoffs ago. Richards had one point that series and Carter had three.

Posted by HOOYAH from PA on 06/27/11 at 01:22 AM ET

statelouis26's avatar

Step backwards, debatable.  Trigger-happy and impatient yes.  Carter was a good move for them b/c he was a 40-goal scoring ghost.  He would never really show up for the big games, especially in playoffs.  The Richards thing just doesn’t make sense from a fan standpoint.  Its understandable regarding the off-ice issues.  On the ice not so much.  Signing bryzgalov was good, though the term is a bit dicey taking into account his recent playoff record.  Why on earth the flyers need to fill four lines with scoring forwards is anyone’s guess.  Zherdev, Versteeg?  These moves didn’t make sense.  Depth is great, but when you have Leino, VanRiemsdyk, and Giroux there is no need.  The flyers finally balanced their forwards, and in doing so cleared cap space for a nhl goalie.  Simmonds will be a great 3rd liner who can chip in offensively while voracek will be given time to develop without the pressure of having to produce as a top-6.  Hartnell-Briere-Leino, Versteeg-Giroux-VanRiemsdyk, Voracek-Nodl-Simmonds, Lapierre-Betts-Powe/Carcillo.  That looks/sounds like a great group of forwards, capable of putting up great offensive numbers despite no longer be top-heavy.  Balance is what wins championships besides defense and hot goaltending.  I don’t even like the flyers.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 06/27/11 at 05:36 AM ET

statelouis26's avatar

O yeah and I forget to mention getting a friggin’ 1st and 2nd rounder for Carter, and the most touted prospect in Schenn.  Schenn should fill in nicely on the 3rd line next, will top no.1 or 2 center potential.  Not bad deals

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 06/27/11 at 05:40 AM ET

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Some things I’d like to point out:

Carter and Richards are absolutely fantastic players right now. Whoever said they’re the 5th and 6th best forwards on the team…you’ve got to be kidding. Two of the top three (the other being Giroux).

I find it curious that Richards has his break-out season with Carter on his wing…and Giroux has his break-out season with Carter on his wing. Just some food for thought.

I think some of the locker room stuff is overblown. The Philly media, as said above, has a tough relationship with Richards (he declines most interviews, and it seems to rub them the wrong way). Richards apparently is an awesome leader when his team wins but is a locker room cancer when the team loses. Hmmm…he’s just easy to pick on, that’s all.

Bryzgalov has a bad track record in the playoffs. As it is, while the Flyers’ goaltending was in large part to blame for their SCF loss, their skaters fell apart against Boston. It wasn’t Boucher.

Schenn and Simmonds is a good return, but they’ll come at roughly the same cost as Richards. Schenn’s best case scenario is a Richards or Carter-type player (tough minutes outscoring top line center). The Flyers are lucky Couturier dropped—he could actually replace one of those two studs the Flyers lost.

The Flyers may still have depth up front, but instead of one solid offensive line (Briere) and two excellent checking lines (Giroux, Richards), they now have one offensive, one checking, and an unknown.

What baffles me is with Pronger and Timonen in decline, why you’d set your team back a few years by getting younger. This team is in WIN NOW mode. Sure, in a few years Carle, Coburn, and Meszaros will have matured along with Schenn, etc, but I doubt their top-5 on D will be as strong as it is now, and Bob will be hard pressed to match Bryz now (any goalie would be).

Posted by Anonymous on 06/27/11 at 05:17 PM ET

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com