Flyers Sellers At The Deadli-Wait…What?

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.

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4 thoughts on “Flyers Sellers At The Deadli-Wait…What?”

  1. Carcillo is a great young talent, but not the player Upshall is NOW. Was Scottie going to be lost in free agency? Perhaps they needed the space because they needed an experienced blueliner with someone banged up they’re not telling us about? For the record, the only reason Mac was in Worcester is that he didn’t fit under the cap. He can hit, he’s a good PK d-man, and he plays hard, hurt, and heady. He’s not gonna help you in the offensive end, but he’s a good #6 D-man.

  2. @Mchi: I’m very confident Carcillo will do well in Philadelphia. He’s got spark, but nothing like the spark Upshall gave. There’s a reason why “Upshall SMASH!” became a choice phrase by many Flyers fans. He wasn’t the biggest name on the team but he could easily rival the team’s best in terms of fan support. He was loved in Philadelphia for the way he played; every shift with reckless abandon. He was the epitome of how the Flyers envision their team. Carcillo will do well, but he will never be what Upshall was to the city or the team.

    @Kate: As far as McLaren thing is concerned I have been wondering about it a certain scenario ever since the trade was made. Kyle was a very solid defenseman last season and though he is getting up there would likely be a better option at defense than Jones. Kyle gives us options in the postseason where the is no salary cap. Though Holmgren has mentioned Sbisa could end up returning I think McLaren became the Flyers 7th defenseman in the playoffs as soon as the trade was made. He is a low risk/high reward for someone who will walk out of Philadelphia at the end of the season anyway.

  3. It does seem like Carcillo is a bit of a downgrade, and that Kyle McLaren thing just goes straight over my head. But hey, if you can get any decent player for a 6th round pick, might as well go for it, even if he’s entirely useless to you for the time being.
    It looks like the Flyers are trying to go for a new NHL record: the first team to spend the entire game on the PK! but hey, look on the bright side…at least it wasn’t Hartnell?

  4. Carcillo is not just a thug. He’s gritty and can actually do well in a slightly looser system than Phoenix played. But you’re right, he’s no Upshall.

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