Looking back, I can see why the trade was made. Primeau had a reputation for scoring and was 6’4″. Clarke and Ed Snyder loved having big guys down the middle and the idea was the Primeau and Lindros would be a titanic duo to have as centers. But Lindros was out in a few months anyway and Primeau’s career was also cut short.
Meanwhile, Brind’amour flourished for another 10 years in Carolina and put up numbers that are worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. His number is retired at the PNC Arena. His name is on the Stanley Cup; something that eluded both Lindros and Primeau. And another interesting sidenote is that Shanahan, someone being the man involved, indirectly, in both of these trades, ended up winning several cups in Detroit because of it all.
If the Flyers never made the trade, would Brind’amour have been able to pick up the slack in 2001 when Lindros got hurt? Could Brind’amour and Jeremy Roenick, when he signed in Philly, have carried the team past the 2004 Lightning? It’s hard to say, but fun to ponder.
Primeau was a good player and a great Flyer. But he was never as good as Brind’amour was nor did he ever fully achieve his full potential. Yes, he had some great moments in orange and black, but if push comes to shove, just about every Flyers fan would take a do-over on this trade. That’s in no disrespect to Primeau, but it shows a lot more respect towards Brind’amour.
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The Flyers would stagnate and start their slow decline until now. The Hurricanes, with Brind’amour, brought in a legitimate talent with a dedication to winning in the weight room, locker room, and on the ice. That changed the culture in that organization. You see how it affects that team now. Even no, Brind’amour will lift weights with his players and show the dedication that success takes. It would’ve been nice to have seen that stay here in Philly. Maybe the Flyers should look to Carolina and try to replicate that success here.