PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, the linchpins of the Philadelphia Flyers' run to the Stanley Cup finals a year ago, were both traded in a pair of separate stunning trades that shakes up the franchise on the eve of the draft.
The moves cleaned house - and cleared needed salary cap space to sign goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. The move for the franchise goalie was imminent. The Flyers acquired the rights to Bryzgalov, 30, earlier this month in a deal with the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Flyers moved over $100 million in salary in Thursday's deals that sent Richards to the Los Angeles Kings and Jeff Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Richards and Carter still had plenty of years left on monster contracts - Richards has nine years left on a 12-year contract extension he signed in 2007, and Carter agreed in November to a $58-million, 11-year contract.
Richards was traded for forwards Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds and a draft choice Thursday. The Kings announced the trade. The Flyers acquired forward Jake Voracek and the club's first- and third-round picks from the Blue Jackets.
Philadelphia won the Atlantic Division title last season with 106 points, but lost in Round 2 to the Boston Bruins - who eventually won the Stanley Cup - in a four-game sweep that did not sit well with the organization. In their 11-game postseason, Philadelphia used three goaltenders with little success: Sergei Bobrovsky, Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton. Bryzgalov would help to solve that three-pronged problem in net.