HUGE news in the NHL today as the Flyers trade Captain Mike Richards and Jeff Carter for a combined haul of Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, a 1st rounder, a 2nd rounder and a 3rd rounder. It is no surprise that the Flyers traded Carter, seeing as they did not have cap space and were trying to sign Ilya Bryzgalov. The Richards trade is surprising to me, and I don’t love it from the Flyers perspective. Yes, they needed to dump salary, but Carter’s $5m would have been enough. Plus, they got a great return from the Blue Jackets (Voracek, 1st, 3rd), and thats being in a situation when the whole league knows the Flyers are vehemently shopping Carter. There’s also that whole thing where the Flyers placed 2nd in the East this season, and made the Stanley Cup the year prior. This isn’t a depth deal for them, since they had the most depth in the league (at least top 3) this past season. To me, the Richards trade seems like a desperation move by the Flyers. Its not your typical if we don’t make the playoffs now I’ll be fired, I need to shake things up desperation, rather its the we haven’t had a good goalie in our history type of deal. Philadelphia would have been much better off keeping their captain, and giving Carter’s money to Bryzgalov since $5m sounds about reasonable for him. Today will define Paul Holmgren’s legacy at the helm of the Flyers, and we will see if his massive risk today pans out. The only question now is whether the Flyers will be able to pay all the young players they got today, 3 years from now.