Big Trades Leading In To The Draft
Thursday, 06.23.2011 / 4:08 PM
Well, a couple of big trades announced today. The Philadelphia Flyers really shook up their roster, trading Jeff Carter and Mike Richards and then -- according to reports -- reaching a deal with goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. Both Carter and Richards were traded to Western Conference teams, so we'll take a quick glance at those moves and how they might impact the Preds.
First deal to hit the internet was Carter going from Philadelphia to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus parted with Jakub Voracek and 2011 first and third-round picks. The first-round pick being the No. 8 overall selection this year. Clearly this is a deal Columbus made with the intention to get into the playoffs next season --- Voracek is an impressive young player and the No. 8 pick should yield a real top prospect as well --- so this is more of a "now" move than a "continue to build" move. Still Carter is only 26-years old, so he's not exactly an old man, either. The move gives the Blue Jackets a dynamic pair with Carter and Rick Nash, to go along with Kristian Huselius, RJ Umberger, Antoine Vermette, Derick Brassard, etc, etc. But Voracek is pretty good young forward in his own right (has 39 career goals and will only turn 22 later this summer) --- just not as accomplished as Carter. Carter is signed to basically a lifetime contract --- his deal runs through '21-22 --- and according to reports when the Flyers signed the contract, Carter is set to make in excess of $6 million through the 2017-18 season. In short, this trade likely takes Columbus off the high-end shopping list in free agency. The roster the team has assembled now, is likely pretty close to the roster they will go to battle with during the season. But a Nash-Carter top-line is not a pleasant thought for teams in the Central Division, but should make for some amazing match-ups when Nash and Carter go head-to-head with Suter and Weber!
The other deal saw Mike Richards and forward Rob Bordson (a college prospect playing at Minnesota-Duluth) to the Los Angeles Kings for Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, and a second-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft. The Kings have been openly looking for a top of the lineup forward to complement the pieces they already have in place. They reportedly made attempts via free agency and trade last summer, but weren't able to make things work. Now they've landed that player in Richards. Richards had been the Flyers captain and was a member of the 2010 Canadian Olympic Team. The Kings were a playoff team last season and this move not only appears to solidify their slot in the playoffs again next season, but perhaps a move with an eye towards challenging San Jose for the Pacific Division title. LA parted with a lot, though. Schenn was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 draft and already has nine games of NHL experience under his belt (one game in '09-10 and eight at the start of '10-11), while Simmonds was a second-round pick in 2007 and has become a regular for the Kings the past three years, including a 16-goal, 40-point season in '09-10. But adding Richards to an already impressive group of forwards (Kopitar, Smyth, Penner, Williams, Dustin Brown) gives the Kings the potential for a very potent offense. On the down-side, once restricted free agent Drew Doughty re-signs, the Kings will likely be a little tight on cap room; but on paper the group on the ice looks impressive.
Rumors are starting to heat up around the league. Not sure if any blockbusters will be able to match the trifect the Flyers pulled off today, but don't be surprised if a few more deals come through before tomorrow night's first round wraps up.