If you would like a little background to examining the trades, feel free to read through to the jump. If you know the story, go right to the jump to examine the trades.
After a few seasons where Michael Leighton, Brian Boucher, and Sergei Bobrovsky where deemed the scapegoats to disappointing seasons, goal tending became Paul Holmgren's top priority in the off season of 2010/11. There were a few goaltenders who would possibly be options and Holmgren had his sites set on a quirky Russian goalie by the name of Ilya Bryzgalov. Bryz would not come cheap, and the money to sign him was not readily available. Regardless, Homer made the move and pulled the trigger June 7th, 2011 and traded away AHL-er Matt Clackson, and two 3rd round picks (one in 2011 and one in 2012) to Pheonix for the rights to Bryz.
This trade excited the city who had been ripping this organization through the media for the lack of solid goaltending since the Ron Hextall days. Finally they had their goalie... but how were they going to afford him?
June 23rd, 2011.. Jeff Carter and Mike Richards were traded.
Mike Richards FOR Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, and 2nd Rd Draft Pick
Mike Richards was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in return for a young, scrappy, fan favorite Right Winger named Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds had yet to have his break out year, but was putting up decent numbers. The Flyers also received a young prospect by the name of Brayden Schenn who had only played nine games in the NHL and was consistently compared to as an 'up and coming' Mike Richards. Lastly, they received a second round draft pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. The second round draft pick (packaged with a third round draft pick) was then traded to the Dallas Stars for Nicklas Grossmann.
Jeff Carter FOR Jakub Voracek, 1st Rd Draft Pick, and 3rd Rd Draft Pick
Jeff Carter was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a very young, Right Wing who was not blossoming under Ken Hitchcock's guidance named Jakub Voracek, and a first round draft pick in the 2011 NHL Draft and a third round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft. The first round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft turned in Sean Couturier.
Click the jump to go to 'Examining the Trades'
Examining The Trades
Mike Richards - Wayne Simmonds / Brayden Schenn / 2nd Rd Draft Pick (traded for Nicklas Grossmann)
The ways we can examine this trade are their stats, the need, and what we have seen visually. Unfortunately, leadership and effort can not be measured, only speculated. When looking at scoring stats after the trades for the first season with their respectable clubs, I averaged the amount of goals, assists, and points per game and compared them for offensive production. I believe this is the best way since each player has played different amounts of games through out the two seasons, so this will give us a general idea of their offensive effectiveness per games they played.
- .25 goals per game
- .36 assists per game
- .61 points per game
- .35 goals per game
- .29 assists per game
- .63 points per game
- .22 goals per game
- .22 assists per game
- .44 points per game
As you can see, Wayne Simmonds almost mirrored exactly what Mike Richards was able to achieve outside of the Flyers organization. This is very interesting in the sense that Simmonds is a gritty player like Richards and has pretty much filled the void offensively that was left by Richards leaving the organization. The Flyers were able to add a young prospect in Brayden Schenn, who is very close to the number of goals scored per game as Richards. In addition to Simmonds, Schenn puts an offensive edge to the Flyers in this trade. The two things the Flyers lost is a little bit of leadership and defense. Schenn plays decent defense, but is not penalty kill caliber player and Simmonds is not known for his defense. With the second round draft pick eventually packaged with a 2013 third round draft pick and sent to Dallas for Nicklas Grossmann, the best way to list this trade is:
- Flyers lost Mike Richards, a 2nd Rd Draft Pick, and 3rd Rd Draft Pick
- Flyers gained Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, and Nicklas Grossmann.
The Flyers added much needed defensive help with the addition of Grossmann, who has played well for the Flyers. The only element lost was the element of leadership that Richards gave on the ice. He was the type of player that was able to give it his all when no one else would give any. Simmonds has leadership skills, matches the scoring potential of Richards on the PP, and is as effective offensively. Schenn will have some leadership the older he gets because of his style of play, but is not at the standard of Richards. The loss of leadership is minimized by the rise of Claude Giroux who became the young team's leader. The clearing of Richards opened up space for Giroux to take the reigns. Looking at the trade this way makes me think the Flyers made out on this one, and I would do it again.
Jeff Carter - Jakub Voracek / 1st Rd Draft Pick (Sean Couturier) / 3rd Rd Draft Pick (non-effective as of yet)
This trade helped the Flyers in a couple ways. For one, the Flyers traded a first round and a third round pick to Toronto for Kris Versteeg (ughhh) and only received a second pick and third round pick in return. Trading Carter helped get back a first round pick that turned into Sean Couturier and moved a mind set that was affecting the locker room (allegedly).
- .41 goals per game
- .21 assists per game
- .63 points per game
- .26 goals per game
- .44 assists per game
- .70 points per game
- .16 goals per game
- .20 assists per game
- .36 points per game
Looking at these numbers, you can see that the goals scored by Carter were not made up by either player individually, although Voracek more than doubled Carter's assists per game and ended with a higher points per game. They lost a little bit of scoring potential, but gained in overall offense and gained in defense. They drafted Couturier who has shown he can become a shut-down defensive forward against elite players [see: Malkin, Evgeni], plays very well on the penalty kill, and has the potential to score goals. They used their pick on Nick Cousins, who is a hard working Center that needs to add bulk and strength to compete at the NHL level and is projected to be a 2nd-3rd liner. The way to look at this is:
- Flyers lost Jeff Carter
- Flyers gained Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier, and Nick Cousins (prospect)
The Flyers lost a goal scorer, and gained a play maker and a defensive, two way forward while adding a decent prospect to their farm system. Carter lacked a lot defensively and often would lack the effort to get back to the defensive zone. I don't want to get into the possible off ice issues of Carter, but let us just say that we can agree that there were some. Looking at this trade this way, I would certainly do it again. If I had to pick between the two trades, this one would win every time.
Examining The Trades Combined
Looking at the trades combined, I decided to enter in Ilya Bryzgalov's trade because that was (supposedly) the prelude to the trades.
- Flyers lost Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, 2nd round pick, 3rd round pick, 3rd round pick, and 3rd round pick
- Flyers gained Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek, Nicklas Grossmann, Sean Couturier, Ilya Bryzgalov, and Nick Cousins (prospect)
- Gained an experienced, reliable goalie.
- Gained responsible youth
- Gained a solid defenseman for a weak defensive core
- Opened up space for Claude Giroux to blossom
- Lost experienced goal scorer
- Lost Richard's leadership
- The Flyers did lose some goal scoring, but gained play making ability to spread out the goal scoring.
- On the penalty kill, Sean Couturier is as effective defensively as Richards, but lacks the offense that Richards supplied on the penalty kill. Couturier also takes less risk then Richards on the PK, so there is a more solid defensive base on the PK with Couturier there.
- Simmonds and Voracek supply what Richards and Carter supply on the PP. Combined from the last two seasons, Richards/Carter scored 36 total points with 18 goals. Simmonds/Voracek actually had higher point totals with 39 points, but had less goals with 15 total. If you add in Schenn's five goals and nine points, that puts you over the total contribution of Richards/Carter. No loss on the PP with Carter and Richards gone.
The jury is still out on Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn because they're young with a combined age of 41. Coots has had a down year and has struggled at times, but I think that is due to the role Laviolette has put him in. As of recently, his role has been minimized and he has been playing much better. Schenn had an okay rookie campaign with playing only 54 games last year. This year, he has really started to come into his own. Interestingly enough, he has recently built on some great chemistry with Voracek pulling himself up to a three-way tie for second most points on the team. Looking at the offensive statistics combined between Carter/Richards and Simmonds/Voracek, you can almost say that the trades would have been equal if done straight up, if not slightly giving Flyers the edge.
- .66 goals per game
- .57 assists per game
- 1.24 points per game
- .61 goals per game
- .73 assists per game
- 1.33 assists per game
Looking at the trade at this point and time, I would say it was worth it and I would do it again. If Couturier and Schenn develop into the players the Flyers believe they will, this trade will most definitely be viewed as a win for the Flyers. It already has been a win for the Kings.
*Production as of 02/22/13
To follow Derek Mayne on Twitter, click here.