|Both of these cornerstones are on their way out in Philly.|
The first trade saw star center Jeff Carter traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for winger Jakub Voracek, the 8th pick in this year's draft, and a third rounder in this year's draft. The deal takes Carter's 11-year, 58 million dollar contract off of Philadelphia's books so that they could have more money to sign superstar goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who came over to them from Phoenix earlier this month. This deal gives the Blue Jackets two legitimate superstars in Carter and Rick Nash, and their power play should be just plain stupid.
The second trade saw the Flyers trade their captain, star center Mike Richards, to the LA Kings for prospect center Brayden Schenn, winger Wayne Simmonds, and a second round pick in this year's draft. The big part in this deal from Philadelphia's point of view is Schenn, the 5th overall pick in the 2009 draft, who is considered by many to be hockey's best prospect currently playing in the American Hockey League. Richards, though he was the captain of the Flyers, reportedly was not in good standing with a number of players in his own dressing room, and this opens the door for Chris Pronger to become captain and takes Richards' 12-year, 69 million dollar contract off the books. It also gives the Kings an elite second center to play alongside Anze Kopitar.
Following the completion of both of these deals, Philly signed Bryzgalov to a monster contract, which will pay him $51 million over the next nine years, with an average annual cap hit of $5.667 million. This gives the Flyers the elite goalie they have long been searching for, but also puts their backs firmly against the wall in terms of salary cap space; Bryz will be 40 when his deal expires. In addition, the way his contract is structured, Bryzgalov will be the highest paid player in the NHL next year. Not goalie, player. Wow.
What is going on?