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Friday, June 24, 2011

Flyers Trade Mike Richards to Kings for Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn

Just moments after the Philadelphia Flyers completed a blockbuster trade in which they sent Jeff Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jakub Voracek, they completed a second major deal. The Flyers sent center and team captain Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for right wing Wayne Simmonds, center Brayden Schenn, and Los Angeles' second round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft. Richards has nine years remaining on his current contract, while Schenn still has two years left on his entry-level contract. Simmonds will be eligible for restricted free agency on July 1. In 81 games last season with the Flyers, Richards had 23 goals and 43 assists for 66 points, while Simmonds had 14 goals and 16 assists for 30 points and 75 penalty minutes in 80 games with the Kings. Schenn appeared in eight games with Los Angeles, scoring two assists. He also played in seven games with Manchester of the AHL, scoring three goals and four assists for seven points, and also appeared in 29 games with Brandon and Saskatoon of the WHL, scoring 22 goals and 35 assists for 57 points. I have to say, this was a very surprising trade to say the least, as I did not expect the Flyers to trade Richards. However, the Kings landed a very excellent center in the deal. Richards will bring lots of offensive and two-way skill to the forward lines, as well as outstanding leadership skills. He will also bring some skill to the penalty kill and plenty of grit. In Simmonds, the Flyers get a forward with some offensive upside who has lots of energy and plays a physical game. He should be an excellent fit for the team on the checking lines. In Schenn, the Flyers get a prospect with lots of two-way and offensive upside who could potentially become the next Mike Richards in Philadelphia. Look for him to fight hard for a roster spot at training camp in September. The move also helped Philadelphia free up some salary cap space to re-sign goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, whom they signed to a nine-year, $51 million contract after the trade. The Flyers are currently $3 million below the salary cap, but still have to re-sign impending restricted free agents Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, and Andreas Nodl, and may consider re-signing unrestricted free agent Ville Leino. Daniel Carcillo will also be eligible for restricted free agency, but may no longer fit into the team's long-term plans. Look for the Flyers to potentially make more trades throughout the summer to fit all four of the aforementioned players comfortably under the salary cap.


The Los Angeles Kings also acquired center Rob Bordson in the deal. He was scheduled to be a restricted free agent on July 1, but the Kings have stated they will not give him a qualifying offer and allow him to become an unrestricted free agent.

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