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.