A few weeks ago, the Philadelphia Flyers traded away Ivan Provorov, a player who had previously been seen as a foundational piece of their defense. Tony DeAngelo and Kevin Hayes both appear to be on their way out soon with Travis Sanheim likely to follow, either with them or on his own. Some suggest that Travis Konecny could be on the move, while it is believed that Carter Hart and Scott Laughton could depart as well. The Flyers are a young, talented team with a lot of raw players. They have a lot of potential, but still have a long journey before competing for a Stanley Cup.
30 years ago, the famous Mark Recchi for John LeClair and Eric Desjardins trade went down. Recchi had just scored 123 points. which still stands as a Philadelphia Flyers team record. It was his first full season in Philly after being acquired in a trade for Rick Tocchet. The scoring machine followed that up with a 107 point campaign in 1993-94. With a young Eric Lindros and Rod Brind’amour sharing the lines with him, they formed an excellent, dynamic trio. The problem, though, was depth, and the Flyers had a lot of holes to fill. Trading Recchi to the Montreal Canadiens gave the Flyers a young, developing left wing talent in LeClair who flourished alongside Lindros. Likewise, the talented Desjardins became the backbone of the Flyers defense for the next 10 years. Trading away Mark Recchi stung, but he would eventually return to the Flyers later on.
The Mark Recchi trade helped usher in a great era of Philadelphia Flyers hockey. While Flyers fans may not want to see players like Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, Kevin Hayes, and others being traded, it may be a necessary first step in moving forward. Claude Giroux getting traded away was understandably painful, but Owen Tippett’s ascension this year has helped to ease the blow. Now, it’s Tippett’s turn to take the reigns from Recchi and Giroux.
It’s not about blowing up the team as much as it is making the team better. Adding some complimentary pieces to what the team already has may work, but moving good present-day assets for good future assets is a necessary evil. If Daniel Briere can add to the haul that he got for Ivan Provorov and the picks selected in this week’s draft pan out, alongside the prospects that should be taking a step up, then it is all for the better. Unlike Chuck Fletcher, it is clear that Briere isn’t selling players off just for the sake of moving them out. He’s being savvy and making sure that the Philadelphia Flyers are set up for success for years to come.