Apr 20, 2010; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Jeff Carter (17) celebrates his goal with center Mike Richards (18) against the New Jersey Devils during the third period of game four of the eastern conference quarterfinals of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs at the Wachovia Center. The Flyers defeated the Devils 4 to 1. Mandatory Credit: Barbara Johnston-US PRESSWIRE

Richards and Carter... Who won?

Last offseason Paul Holmgren shocked the hockey world when he traded Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. The two had just signed long contracts and were expected to play the rest of their careers in Philadelphia. After the Kings won the Stanley Cup a lot of Flyers fans jumped to the conclusion that the Flyers lost in the deals. Did they really though?

First let’s look at the stats in the LA trade. Mike Richards notched 44 points in 74 games, .59 points per game, and had 1 game winning goal. Now let’s look at who came in return for him. Wayne Simmonds notched 49 points in 82 game, .60 points per game, and had 3 game winning goal. Brayden Schenn notched 18 points in 54 games, he scored .33 points per game, and he had 3 game winning goals. Simmonds and Schenn combined had 67 points, .93 points per game, and 4 game winning goals. The Flyers added the best prospect in hockey who was compared to Mike Richards when drafted with the potential to be a first or second liner and added a winger with potential to be a 2nd liner. LA got an established forward who is one of the best defensively in the league and can put up first line numbers. I will have to give the Flyers the win in this deal. They added depth and youth.

Now let’s look at the stats from the Columbus trade. Jeff Carter notched 34 points in 55 games, .62 points per game, and had 2 game winning goals. Now let’s look at who came in return for him. Jakub Voracek notched 49 points in 78 games, .63 points per game, and had 2 game winning goals. Sean Couturier notched 27 points in 77 games, .35 points per game, and had 4 game winning goals. The Blue Jackets later traded Carter for Jack Johnson and a 1st. The Flyers got a forward who will most likely be their first line right wing for this upcoming season and 8th overall pick who turned out to be Sean Couturier. Couturier has scoring talent and great defensive ability. In the first round of the playoffs he was matched up against Hart trophy and Art Ross winner Evgeni Malkin. He held Malkin to 8 points in 6 games and 1.33 points per game. Malkin had 1.45 points per game in the season. Very impressive for a rookie against the league’s best player, especially considering that Malkin drew one of the oppositions best defensive forwards. The Blue Jackets got a scoring center or winger who isn’t always in the game at times. The Blue Jackets turned that into a 25 year old defenseman with a troubled career. I will have to give the Flyers the advantage in this deal also. They added depth, youth, and great defensive and scoring ability. Columbus had a goal scorer and then a troubled defenseman and a 1st round pick.

Most Flyers fans will say “Who won the cup though?”. Richards and Carter won the cup. Were they the reason? Not entirely. Jeff Carter had 3 game winning goals in the playoffs and Mike Richards had 1. So a quarter of the games they won were from the two former Flyers. Neither were leaders in points or plus minus. They had a dynamic duo behind them though. Jonathan Quick and Drew Doughty. Quick posted a 1.41 GAA, a .946 SV%, and 3 shutouts. Drew Doughty had 16 points and was 4th at +12. Richards and Carter played a nice part in the run, but are not the key reason they won. Also the Flyers made deals for the future to win a Cup. They didn’t trade to win a cup now.

All in all, I think these deal leaned towards the Flyers. It is mostly a matter of  opinion, but statistics show the Flyers won the deal.


  • http://www.facebook.com/darlene.safer Darlene Safer

    Individual stats mean little.The main goal is team building.Lombardi won.Lets see what Homer does,until then,LA faired better,they got the Cup,the Holy Grail for Hockey Players.

    • Darlene Bandwagoner

      If the Flyers had a Quick and Doughty they would of won the Cup. Quit sucking Richard’s and Carter’s nuts Darlene.

      • http://www.facebook.com/darlene.safer Darlene Safer

        What an intelligent response,from a troll poster.Typical.Bitter Flyer fan is bitter Flyers fan. :)

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  • CoolHockey

    The kings won the trade for now and for the immediate future. Individual stats are nice, but only 1 part of what it takes to help your team win a championship and compete hard. Mike Richards was having the best year of his career (11 G, 20 points, 24 games) when he got a head injury Dec 1, that’s when his reg. season ended .(something he admitted during the finals in NJ in an interview when asked , answered he didn’t start feeling like himself again until the end of Feb) Post Concussion Sydrome and it’s awful side effects take a minimum. of 6 mos to disappear. What he did was become the piece that the Kings needed ,a center who is a great 2 way player and a playoff demon, whose intensity and grit were a large part of what drove them. In addtional to everything else he did, his main job was taking the pressure off Kopitar ,giving him freedom on the ice for puck possession time and scoring chances. Bob McKenzie recently called Mike Richarsd the ‘winningest player in the NHL’ he went on cite the fact Richards is the only player in the NHL who has won every team championship there is, (Mem cup, Calder Cup, World Juniors Gold, Olympic Gold, Stanley Cup) He said Richards is one of the few players who knows what it takes , esp in pressure situations at that stage to win.
    I live in PHilly , Flyers fan for over 35 yearss and watched eveyr Flyers game, Simmonds was not a surprise, given the drastic change in his system, upgrade at linemates and PP time, I figured he’d be a 50 point player. So that was expected .Schenn was unimpressive most of the year and only had a few impressive games in Jan/Feb. He’s young and will improve, but I don’t buy into the ‘he’s the greatest thing since sliced white bread’ that the TSN pundits threw out. . Courtier and Read were much better on both sides of the puck and positionally sound in all three zones. They were very consistant in their play, Schenn wasn’t. He’s got a caution and hesitation in his own zone that leads to costly turnovers and does not protect himself or the puck very well alng the boards or behind the net. He’s got to work on improving his game within his zone, he’s terrible defensively.
    The Flyers have a long way to go (they need a goaltender who isn’t historically mentally weak and cracks under pressure and a solid D corp and a better system) before they can get to the ECF let alone the Cup. They aren’t close, despite their terrific offense. Socring 6 goals because you give up 4 going the other way is not eliite nor a contender.
    Richards will be healthy and PCS free by training camp (when and if the CBA allows it) and a full year under Sutter’s system, which the Kings used to dominate their last 41 games, going 29-9-3, avering 3.5 goals per game and allowing less than 1.5. He’ll aslo have skilled linemates again, with a healthy (first time since 2009 )Gagne and Carter.
    He’s a leader, a competitor and was fantastic in the playoffs (per the analysts like McKenzie, LE Brun, Burnside, Melrose and HRudey and the CBC analysts) who looked at what was important in all aspects of what he did during the geams. He will continue to help lead the Kings to Cup runs over the next several years, they are the best team in the West now. Best young goalie, 2nd best Defense and a depth at center (ability to dominate 200 feet of hockey on both side sof the puck) unmatched. Richards is a playoff stud, not just for the .8 points per game he has in the playoffs career , but for everything else he brings, defense, tough minutes player who eats minutes against the top competition, expert PK’er, PP guy and hits and fights. He’s a champion, as he’s already proven.
    I get that a lot of Flyers fan feel the need to trash talk him and downplay what he does in a defensive action to make themselves feel better because he’s not around anymore. But it’s just a bit immature.