Timothy March

 

In one of the biggest organizational shakeups since 1991, the Flyers moved several pieces during what was a busy day for the orange and black.  This afternoon the Flyers announced that they had traded Jeff Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jakub Voracek, their first round pick in 2011 (8th overall), and a third round pick in 2011.  Before you could soak in the news, rumors began swirling surrounding captain Mike Richards.  Sure enough GM Paul Holmgren pulled the trigger on a deal to send the center to the Los Angeles Kings.  The Flyers received winger Wayne Simmonds, prospect center Brayden Schenn, and a second round pick.  After clearing nearly $11 Million dollars in salary Holmgren immediately spent a chunk of it on free agent goalie, Ilya Bryzgalov.  Bryzgalov inked a 9 year $51 Million dollar deal to come to the city of brotherly love. 

Now that the dust has settled, and everyone has caught their collective breath, let's take a look at who the Flyers acquired in these blockbuster trades. Winger Wayne Simmonds, winger Jakub Voracek, and prospect center Brayden Schenn.

Wayne Simmonds - 6'2" 183lbs Right Wing

The 22-year-old Scarborough, Ontario native is a gritty forward who has no problem dropping the gloves.  Good skating and on ice presence make him an excellent penalty killer.  He also lead the Kings in +/- rating for the 2009-10 season. Simmonds amassed 39 Goals and 54 assists for 93 total points in 240 career games for the Los Angeles Kings.  Simmonds is the type of forward that Flyers fans will find themselves falling for early on in his time here. He plays with grit and determination and he has plenty of skill to go along with it.  Simmonds possesses a powerful shot, and playing alongside a dynamic playmaker could be what he needs to blossom into the offensive star he was drafted to be. 

 

Jakub Voracek - 6'1" 205lbs Right Wing

Drafted 7th overall in the 2007 NHL entry draft, Voracek is the real deal.  The Kladno, Czechoslavakia native has yet to have the breakout season everyone is expecting, but has been flying under the radar putting up impressive numbers. In 241 NHL games Voracek has put together 39 Goals and 95 Assists for 135 total points.  The intangibles are definitely there.  Jakub is an explosive skater who has a howitzer-like shot.  However, he much prefers the playmaker role setting up his teammates.  Think Claude Giroux's vision when talking about Voracek.  He sees the ice better than many and has dynamic offensive skill. According to experts he is the "complete package" contributing defensively as well.  Voracek will be a much needed boost to the lacking winger corps.

Brayden Schenn - 6'0" 196lbs Center

Schenn is arguably the best prospect not playing in the NHL right now.  The Saskatoon, SK, Canada native was selected 5th overall in the 2009 entry draft. In 224 career WHL (Western Hockey League) games, playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings, Schenn put up impressive numbers.  He lit up the score sheet with 116 Goals and 199 Assists for 315 total points. At just 19, Brayden was expected to challenge for, and more than likely win, a roster spot on the Los Angeles Kings this season.  Due to the recent shake up, the Flyers have much more room in their system for a player like Schenn.  Expect him to crack the roster this upcoming season.  Baryden is a solid passer, and has the size to play well in traffic.  He also possesses the speed to break away when necessary.  Schenn has a nose for the puck and won't hesitate to get into the 'tough' areas.  Flyers fans have a lot to look forward to with Brayden.

So there you have it.  The Flyers may have moved two well known memebers of the franchise, but they received a ton of potential in return.  Holmgren also acquired something the Flyers have been starved for in recent years, draft picks.  Philadelphia still has 3 draft picks (acquired) to play with in this years draft.  They could add another NHL ready prospect with the 8th overall selection. 

This is a very exciting day for fans of the orange and black. It's not about what has been given up, it's about what has been gained.  At the end of the day there is nothing any of us can do to change what has been done.  It's not about the name on the back, but the crest on the front. I hope this sheds some light on the recent moves for the franchise and helps us move forward.  It's time to turn the page, Philadelphia.  I'm pumped. Are you?