The Wheels Start Turning
Mike Richards would have been an awfully nice fit at centre for the Maple Leafs.
Jeff Carter less so - more of a shooter - but still pretty good.
Alas, the frustration for Brian Burke is on the day the Flyers moved both, he got shut out on both.
Richards, a more expensive, 2011 version of Doug Gilmour, you could argue, was the one Burke bid hardest on. But, from a Leaf perspective, at least Los Angeles likely won't be in the bidding for Brad Richards now that they've got Mike Richards, the former Philly captain.
If Brad Richards now wants the big money and the long term, it looks like he'll have to get it from the Rangers or the Leafs. Anywhere else, he'll have to go for a discount. This we know; he won't wave his no-trade, so he'll be free and open to offers on July 1st.
And the Leafs will be making him an offer. By the way, Richards again declined to waive his no-trade on Thursday to let Dallas get something for him, but it wasn't a deal to the Leafs that was in the works. Just so we're all on the same page here.
Thursday was a pretty wild day, the final 24 hours before the draft, with unrestricted free agency coming in just eight days.
As well as Mike Richards going to L.A. for Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds, and Carter heading to Columbus for a first round pick, Jakob Voracek and a third round pick, the Flyers gave $51 million to goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (a nine-year deal for a 31-year-old goalie? Really?) after playing musical goalies produced a playoff loss to Boston.
And the Bruins only went on to win it all.
Clearly, Philly GM Paul Holmgren wanted to change his team, and the Richards-Carter-Chris Pronger triumvirate wasn't working. He also needed to get some futures after giving up so many to get Pronger from Anaheim three years ago, and then giving the Leafs a first rounder for Kris Versteeg.
But Holmgren was also in salary cap jail even with the max going over $64 million, at least if he wanted to sign Bryzgalov. Carter had 11 years left on his huge deal, Richards nine years left on his (Flyers love these crazy contracts, but apparently have figured out they can trade them to others equally crazy). So to get the goalie done, Holmgren shipped out two top-six forwards for picks, prospects and young players, which kind of makes you wonder how this makes the Flyers more likely to win the Stanley Cup next year.
With the 8th pick overall that belonged to Columbus, the Flyers are unlikely to get a player who can play next year. That said, they're now in a position to move up, aren't they?
To get either Richards or Carter, the Leafs had to be offering the likes of Nazem Kadri and Nik Kulemin, and it only makes sense the Flyers would ask for Luke Schenn. It would have been a costly deal, of that there is no doubt.
L.A. general manager Dean Lombardi, meanwhile, finally bit the bullet and made the big deal. He flirted with Ilya Kovalchuk last summer, wouldn't move Brayden Schenn for Ales Hemsky at the trade deadline last winter, now makes the big play to land Richards, who is coming off an off-year.
The Kings now look like a serious threat in the west next season. And, by the way, any chance the Oilers would still be interested in Brayden Schenn, interested enough to move down to No. 8 from No. 1 to get a player ready to help next season, thus allowing Philly to get the first overall pick?
Just a thought.
Salary cap implications are also very much part of the proposed deal that would send Calgary defenceman Robyn Regehr to Buffalo, that is if Regehr will go along with it by waving his no-trade.
GM Jay Feaster has, in all, 10 players with no movement clauses and more than $57 million committed to 19 players. He needs to make his team better somehow and doesn't want to trade Jarome Iginla or Miikka Kiprusoff. So Regehr is his best option, which is interesting, given that there have been lingering suggestions in Alberta that a bad vibe between Regehr and Dion Phaneuf was part of the reason the Flames decided to send Phaneuf to Toronto.
There's also lots of Ryan Smyth rumours, plus all the Jaromir Jagr talk involving Detroit and Pittsburgh.
Boston just won the Cup eight days ago. Doesn't take long for everybody to start plotting to rip it out of their hands, does it?