The Wheels Start Turning

Mike Richards would have been an awfully nice fit at centre for the Maple Leafs.

Jeff Carter less so – more of a shooter – but still pretty good.

Alas, the frustration for Brian Burke is on the day the Flyers moved both, he got shut out on both.

Richards, a more expensive, 2011 version of Doug Gilmour, you could argue, was the one Burke bid hardest on. But, from a Leaf perspective, at least Los Angeles likely won’t be in the bidding for Brad Richards now that they’ve got Mike Richards, the former Philly captain.

If Brad Richards now wants the big money and the long term, it looks like he’ll have to get it from the Rangers or the Leafs. Anywhere else, he’ll have to go for a discount. This we know; he won’t wave his no-trade, so he’ll be free and open to offers on July 1st.

And the Leafs will be making him an offer. By the way, Richards again declined to waive his no-trade on Thursday to let Dallas get something for him, but it wasn’t a deal to the Leafs that was in the works. Just so we’re all on the same page here.

Thursday was a pretty wild day, the final 24 hours before the draft, with unrestricted free agency coming in just eight days.

As well as Mike Richards going to L.A. for Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds, and Carter heading to Columbus for a first round pick, Jakob Voracek and a third round pick, the Flyers gave $51 million to goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (a nine-year deal for a 31-year-old goalie? Really?) after playing musical goalies produced a playoff loss to Boston.

And the Bruins only went on to win it all.

Clearly, Philly GM Paul Holmgren wanted to change his team, and the Richards-Carter-Chris Pronger triumvirate wasn’t working. He also needed to get some futures after giving up so many to get Pronger from Anaheim three years ago, and then giving the Leafs a first rounder for Kris Versteeg.

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