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Question of the Day
PHILDELPHIA — Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, two key cogs in the Philadelphia Flyers‘ run to the Stanley Cup finals a year ago, were both traded in a pair of separate stunning trades that shakes up the franchise on the eve of the draft.
The moves on Thursday cleaned house — and cleared needed salary cap space to sign goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.Flye Later in the day, the Flyers announced they signed the franchise goalie to a multiyear contract. TSN reported it was a $51-million, nine-year deal. The Flyers acquired the rights to Bryzgalov, 31, earlier this month in a deal with the Phoenix Coyotes.
Richards and Carter still had plenty of years remaining on monster contracts — Richards has nine years left on a 12-year extension he signed in 2007, and Carter agreed in November to a $58-million, 11-year pact.
Richards was traded for forwards Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds and a second-round pick. The Kings announced the trade. The Flyers acquired forward Jake Voracek and the club’s first- and third-round picks from the Blue Jackets.
Philadelphia won the Atlantic Division title last season with 106 points, but was swept in the second round by the Boston Bruins, who eventually won the Stanley Cup.
The Flyers‘ postseason run was short-lived because of problems in net. In the 11-game postseason, Philadelphia used three goaltenders with little success: Sergei Bobrovsky, Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton. Bryzgalov would help to solve that three-pronged problem in net.
But Philadelphia paid a steep price to find some peace between those pipes.
“We felt, at this stage of the franchise, it was time to make a significant move for an impact player,” Kings president and general manager Dean Lombardi said. “Mike Richards is not only one of the top players in the league, he’s also universally recognized as one of the finer leaders in the game and one of its elite competitors.”
Carter, 26, instantly becomes the best center to ever play for Columbus. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder agreed in November to a $58-million, 11-year contract. Beginning next season, Carter’s salary-cap hit will be $5.27 million.
A Vezina Trophy finalist in 2009-10, Bryzgalov went 36-20-10 with a 2.48 goals-against average and seven shutouts last season, but had some shaky moments as Phoenix was swept from the playoffs by Detroit in Round 1.
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