Well, this was certainly an eventful day in Flyer nation. While they signed a quality goalie in Bryzgalov (albeit for nine years, about 5 too many for my taste) and cleared some cap space, they also traded two cornerstones of the recent success of the franchise in Jeff Carter and Mike Richards.
Personally, I am upset more about the loss of Richards for two reasons:
1) It’s very hard to trade your captain, especially a young one with a lot of potential.
2) My #18 Richards jersey is now a collector’s item.
So, this brings up the question, who will be offered the “C” next year? According to Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com, it’s a no-brainer that it will be offered to Chris Pronger. AndDave definitely agrees with this statement, citing PuckGate of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals as a brilliant move by Pronger.
Pronger, Danny Briere, and Kimmo Timonen have all been captains in the recent past with other teams. And if you’re looking for a veteran captain presence for this team, then that’s probably where they are headed.
But this team is not being built around veterans. The unquestioned star during the all-too-short playoff run was James van Riemsdyk. Even during the Boston series, he was the best player on the ice. If you’re really trying to build for the future, you might want to think about offering him at least an “A” instead of just handing them to Briere and Timonen again.
The real point of all this? We shouldn’t be having this discussion. Mike Richards should never have been the one to go.