Remember that awesome goal Scottie Upshall scored after picking off a pass in the offensive zone right before it passed the blueline yesterday? Remember him skating in at full speed and throwing it past the Boston netminder to tie an important game before the Flyers would eventually take control of it in the 3rd? Yes, but in the end all we have are memories.
Today was trade deadline day. The Flyers always make a move. This time was no different, but instead of a big name center or a stud goaltender the Flyers went to minor pickups as they normally would with the playoffs on the horizon. It wasn’t that unusual. This was the first time though that the Flyers, as a strong playoff bound team, have become sellers at the deadline.
The first of two trades the Flyers made today was a deal involving fan favorite Scottie Upshall who is scheduled to be a Restricted Free Agent this offseason and would’ve have likely been getting a mild pay raise on top of his $1.3m/year salary. Along with a valuable second round pick Upshall was shipped to Phoenix in return for a 2003 3rd round selection of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Dan Carcillo. Philadelphia downgraded Upshall offensively, defensively, and picked up Carcillo’s big time penalty numbers as well as sent over one of the most important picks in any deep draft. If there’s one thing the Flyers don’t need it’s penalty minutes. The Flyers did downgraded Upshall’s salary though by roughly $0.5m with this trade.
At this point a lightbulb should flash in anyone’s head: “The Flyers probably needed to clear up that little bit of cap space in order to fit in their next acquisition.” Then it wouldn’t be so bad. Giving up Upshall when he was due for a raise wouldn’t be terrible if the Flyers filled a problematic hole with it.
Then another Philadelphia trade was announced. The Flyers sent a 6th round pick to San Jose for defenseman Kyle McLaren. This was it. This was who the Flyers were going to get to bolster their defen-wait. Huh? THE Kyle McLaren? The one currently playing with the Sharks’ AHL affiliate? He has not suited up for a single Sharks game this season. Instead he has been with the Worcester Sharks and has only played 17 games for them. It can’t be all that bad though. He was good last season right? As a former first round pick of Boston back in 1995, he played pretty well last year. Oh wait! Hold the phone. It doesn’t matter how he is, good or bad (and more than likely, terrible). That’s right his $2.5m/year salary cap hit prevents him from even joining the Flyers team.
So there you have it folks. The Flyers became sellers on a trade deadline right after which they hope to make a major playoff push. Well, you the fans wanted a trade, and Paul Holmgren was more than happy to deliver. He also seemed pretty thrilled about ripping your heart out, stepping on it a few times, and running over it in his truck right before cooking and eating it.
Ladies and gentlemen, I leave you with Scottie Upshall. Here’s to the memories.