I went away to a horse show last Thursday and and far as I can tell all hell broke lose on my hockey teams. I know, I went away for NHL Draft Weekend and stuff was likely to happen but still it felt sneaky.
Apparently Michael Richards (a name used for their now ex-Captain by the Flyers during the weekend’s announcements, and also by Ritchie himself on his Twitter account: so long “Mike” Richards) was the only player in the know about the groundswell of changes to come. He said his agent told him there was a good chance he would be moved to LA. Jeff Carter was caught by surprise and something tells me Devin Setoguchi had no idea he was on the verge of being traded. Brent Burns was apparently on notice because he wanted to move so it was no biggee for him.
Mrs Burns may be in for a surprise since her husband has apparently told her that San Jose is just like Texas. Oops. I hope it is a pleasant surprise.
This news was all very difficult to process while at a horse show, surrounded by purely hockey-indifferent people, and being baked by the sun and pretty much too tired to think all day.
Burns and Richards made out pretty well, I think. They both went to good teams. Seto and Carter, not so much. As hockey teams go, being sent to Columbus or Minnesota could be on a par with being sent into NHL exile. Of course, they will still be playing hockey for lots of money. But lately, both teams are perpetual non-contenders in the west. Sure, their fan base will be glad to see these players. Carter and Seto will make their teams better, but neither one will be able to carry the team on their own. I don’t wonder why neither knew the trade was coming. It is certainly a demotion. And both had, for all intents and purposes, just signed new contracts with their teams. Setoguchi had quite literally just re-signed, a matter of days before the trade, for three years at below market value. Carter signed an 11-year extension this year so he must have assumed he was wanted long term by Philly.
Oh well, assumptions are dangerous. As for Ritchie? Get that NMC signed now, not on some deferred payment plan. Without it, you are trade bait.
I feel awful for being so disoriented by the Flyers trades. I’m not really worried about Richards turning the Pacific Division on it’s head. He’s good, but not that good. More importantly, the Flyers still have a number of players I like a lot, I just can’t seem to remember who they are right now. I supposed I was a little in love with the idea of the organization, a kind of stability and chemical cohesion that went beyond the business and gambling angle. Of course that’s naive, but it’s such a beautiful thought that it’s hard to not have it.
I’ll get over it, and all the players in question are in the Western Conference, at least for now… I will see them often enough. But my head’s still spinning and I can’t really be philosophical about it yet.