Revamping of Flyers begins with a pair of major trades

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 24, 2011 - 9:13 AM

With the Philadelphia Flyers beginning the trade domino, the rumor mill was in overdrive Thursday night.

It started with the Flyers sending goal-scoring center Jeff Carter to Columbus for Jakub Voracek, the No. 8 pick in Friday's draft and a third-round pick Saturday. The Flyers then sent captain Mike Richards to Los Angeles for Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds. Moments later, they announced goalie Ilya Bryzgalov signed a nine-year, $51 million contract.

"Today we're a different team, and I really like this team, the way it's structured right now," Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren said. "Obviously, the ability to agree to terms today with Ilya was a big factor moving forward. We've solidified that position."

Other moves on the frontburner Thursday night:

• It appeared Ryan Smyth was close to being traded from Los Angeles to Calgary or Edmonton.

• Florida, which always makes a splash at the draft, was talking to Edmonton about flipping the No. 1 and No. 3 picks.

• TSN reported Calgary's Robyn Regehr was asked to waive his no-trade clause to go to Buffalo and Dallas free-agent-to-be Brad Richards declined to waive his no-trade clause to have his rights moved.

• Philadelphia's Kris Versteeg was reportedly on the block.

In the meantime, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has been working the phones, saying this week, "I can't tell you the number of calls I've had the last week, some more realistic than others, some borderline ridiculous. But there's been great dialogue."

Wild GM mulling Barker's future

Agent J.P. Barry said he will meet with Fletcher this weekend to discuss the future of his client, Cam Barker.

The 25-year-old defenseman has struggled in parts of two seasons with Minnesota. Barker is owed $3.25 million next season with a salary-cap hit of $3.083 million. If it's unable to trade Barker, the Wild might buy out Barker's final year of his contract for one-third the price. It has until June 30 to make that decision.

A buyout would cost the Wild $541,667 in each of the next two seasons and trim the cap hit to $375,000 next year and $541,667 in 2012-13.

Barry said Barker, the third overall pick in the 2004 draft, would like another chance to prove himself.


• Wild assistant coach Darby Hendrickson, whose contract expires June 30, said he is scheduled to meet with new coach Mike Yeo this weekend. Assistant coach Rick Wilson and goalie coach Bob Mason have been retained.

• Former Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Florida and Atlanta GM and Chicago associate GM Rick Dudley has spent the week in the Twin Cities meeting with teams about his next gig. Dudley wasn't retained by Winnipeg in the relocation of the Thrashers. Dudley has at least met with Columbus and Florida.

Devin Setoguchi, one player the Wild has had interest in, signed a three-year, $9 million extension with San Jose. Montreal extended the contract of defenseman Andrei Markov by three years.


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