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  • Andrew McGuinness

Trade Tree: How the Mike Richards and Jeff Carter Deals are Still Impacting the NHL Today

Updated: Feb 12


Needless to say, the 2018-19 season has not been a very exciting one for the Philadelphia Flyers. High expectations turned into a futile reality as the team has struggled for the vast majority of this season and has often been a chore to watch. That has left Flyers fans like myself looking for ways to kill off time before the exciting part of this season - the trade deadline.

But speaking of trades, one of the best ways to kill off time and have fun with hockey is a trade tree. Many people have done it before, across all sports, but I wanted to give it a try myself. In case you've never heard of the concept, it involves breaking down one particular trade and seeing what became of all the assets exchanged. In many cases, one trade can spawn off into a dozen, if not more.

For my inaugural trade tree, we're going to break down two trades, and of course, they were made by the Flyers. On June 23, 2011, the Flyers completely changed the fate of their franchise for the next decade plus, trading captain Mike Richards to Los Angeles and leading scorer Jeff Carter to Columbus.

Trade 1:

LA Acquires

C Mike Richards

C Rob Bordson

PHI Acquires

C Brayden Schenn

RW Wayne Simmonds

2012 LAK 2nd (#61)

We'll start with the captain, and once we're done with him we'll move on to Carter. The Flyers probably got better value for Carter, but the difference in terms of assets acquired vs. sent is a little better in this trade in my opinion. 3 years deep into a 12 year, $69 million deal, and one year away from a NMC kicking in, Richards was dealt for two young up-and-comers in Simmer and Schenn, as well as a 2nd. At the time, Schenn was regarded as the best player not in the NHL, while Simmonds was thought of as only a decent prospect. In terms of point production, the two wound up having similar careers so far. Of course, only one is still in a Flyers uniform.

Trade 2:

STL Acquires

C Brayden Schenn

PHI Acquires

2017 WSH 1st (#27 - C Morgan Frost)

2018 STL 1st (#14 - LW Joel Farabee)

C Jori Lehtera

How this trade turns out has everything to do with how Frost and Farabee develop, but so far it's looking mighty promising for the Flyers. Lehtera was just a cap dump, so don't look too much into him. Schenn has been solid in St. Louis, but the team has struggled, and there are rumors they may be looking to sell him at the deadline. Interesting tidbit though - Frost was taken with a pick that originally belonged to the Caps 13 years after the Flyers traded a 1st to Washington that became John Carlson. Yes, the Flyers didn't directly acquire this pick from Washington, but hopefully he can reverse the karma from the nightmare trade.

And that would do it for this trade tree. If it wasn't for that 2nd round pick. Brace yourself.

Trade 3:

DAL Acquires

2012 LAK 2nd (#61 - C Devin Shore)

2013 MIN 3rd (#77)

PHI Acquires

D Nicklas Grossmann

With the Flyers needing defense in the short-term, the team dealt two decent picks to Dallas for defensive defenseman Nicklas Grossmann (the Flyers had already acquired the 3rd from Minnesota). Grossmann was a good soldier in Philadelphia, although overvalued because of his size and grit, rather than evaluated by his numbers, which weren't that good. Dallas used the second-rounder on Devin Shore, who remained a Dallas Star until... last week.

Trade 4:

ANA Acquires

C Devin Shore

DAL Acquires

LW Andrew Cogliano

Both the Ducks and Stars have had their ups-and-downs this year. For Anaheim, they've had John Gibson play like a Vezina winner but are on an 0-6-2 swoon. Dallas is currently in a playoff spot, but that Jim Lites rant still rings on in the minds of hockey fans everywhere. So the Ducks get younger, and the Stars get a good, speedy veteran who has never missed a game due to injury in his career. There could be a follow-up move on the Anaheim side in the near future, but for now, this is where this branch ends.

Trade 5:

DAL Acquires

D Joe Morrow

2013 PIT 5th (#149 - LW Aaron Palusaj)

PIT Acquires

LW Brendan Morrow

2013 MIN 3rd (#77 - LW Jake Guentzel)

No, you are not reading this wrong. The pick the Penguins used to select Jake Guentzel, the same Jake Guentzel that knocked the Flyers out of the playoffs with a 4-goal Game 6, was selected with a pick the Flyers once owned. Associating great yet seemingly random names is the name of the trade tree game, and Guentzel sure fits. This wound up working out for Dallas though, because...

Trade 6:

BOS Acquires

D Joe Morrow

LW Reilly Smith

LW Loui Eriksson

RW Matt Fraser

DAL Acquires

C Tyler Seguin

C Rich Peverly

D Ryan Button

Yeah, I'd say that worked out.

The Seguin trade is one of the biggest fleeces of the past half decade, as it gave Dallas one of their (currently maligned) core pieces in Seguin for a collection of players ranging from decent to disposable. Seguin is also the only still with the team they were traded to, but only one player was actually traded from the team they were sent to in this deal.

Trade 7:

FLA Acquires

LW Reilly Smith

C Marc Savard

BOS Acquires

RW Jimmy Hayes

Hayes was the type of bruising power forward that Bruins management always fell in love with at the time, which combined with the Panthers' willingness to take on Savard's dead contract, allowed to net a nice haul in Reilly Smith. Smith put together a solid start in Florida, earning a lofty extension. Unfortunately, he and most of the team under performed in the 2016-17 season, leading to a trade the Panthers would certainly like back.

Trade 8:

VGK Acquires

LW Reilly Smith

Expansion Draft Considerations (Picked RW Jonathan Marchessault)

FLA Acquires

2018 VGK 4th (#123)

In what was one of the pivotal moves in forming the 2017-18 Western Conference champions, Vegas snagged two top 6 wingers, one making league minimum in Marchessault and the other begging for a bounce-back season in Smith for a mid-round pick. The Panthers were caught in an identity crisis, going from the top of the Atlantic in 2015-16 to missing out on the playoffs the next, causing them to make several rash decisions like this one that set the team back.

Trade 9:

FLA Acquires

LW Mike Hoffman

2018 SJS 7th (#207 - D Santtu Kinnunen)

SJS Acquires

2019 FLA 2nd

2018 VGK 4th (#123)

2018 FLA 5th (#139)

Add another notable name to the branches of this trade tree. Of course, we all know the story here - Ottawa had hit rock bottom, Hoffman's value had plummeted after a scandal with his fiance. Pierre Dorion trades him to the Sharks for an underwhelming haul, only to watch him flipped to Florida for a better package hours later. The 2nd will probably turn into a decent player in June, especially with Florida currently 27th in the league. But the Sharks didn't actually use the picks they acquired.

Trade 10:

SJS Acquires

2018 EDM 4th (#102 - C Jasper Weatherby)

MTL Acquires

2018 VGK 4th (#123 - C Jack Gorniak)

2018 FLA 5th (#139)

We are officially into the part of tree where we've run out of notable assets and are extending it only via exchanges of mid-round picks like this one. Who knows is Weatherby or Gorniak will ever turn out to be something. Just thank god we don't have another one of these to do.

Trade 11:

MTL Acquires

2019 CHI 5th

CHI Acquires

2018 FLA 5th (#139 - C Mikael Hakkarainen)

Nevermind.

This is the last one though, I promise. For this branch anyway. Obviously the 2019 picks will get names attached to them in a few months (if not a few more trades as well). For this deal, I guess Montreal is probably going to win considering they're likely to get the higher pick (Chicago is 31st in the league, which result in the #125th pick). But of course, we're still not done.

Trade 12:

PHI Acquires

C Sam Gagner

2016 SJS 4th (#120)

ARI Acquires

D Nicklas Grossmann (14.3% Salary Retained - $500,000)

D Chris Pronger

Of course we never found out what happened to Grossmann. After 4 seasons in Philly, Ron Hextall pulled off the miracle of trading him and then essentially retired Chris Pronger for actual assets. Gagner was a decent role player for a playoff bound 2016 Philadelphia team, but the big win was getting out of Grossmann and Pronger's deals. But before we close this tree for good...

Trade 13:

NYI Acquires

2016 SJS 4th (#120 - LW Otto Koivula)

PHI Acquires

2017 NYI 4th (#104)

Oh joy, another random swap of late draft picks. Yay, Philly wins because their pick was 16 slots higher. Wonder what other no-name prospects will work there way in to this tree.

Trade 14:

PHI Acquires

2017 ARI 2nd (#35 - LW Isaac Ratcliffe)

ARI Acquires

2017 PHI 2nd (#44 - D Filip Westerlund)

2017 PHI 3rd (#75 - C Nathan Schnarr)

2017 NYI 4th (#104 - D Noel Hoefenmayer)

Huh.

While at the time the package of picks seemed a bit high to move up 9 slots, Ron Hextall was clearly right in identifying Ratcliffe as a player the Flyers could use. Ratcliffe nearly cracked Team Canada this year, but is still having a strong year in the OHL with Guelph. He is easily the best prospect in this trade, possessing top-6 upside. Though who knows what the Arizona picks will ultimately become.

*UPDATE* Trade 15:

PHI Acquires

RW Ryan Hartman

2020 NSH Conditional 4th

NSH Acquires

RW Wayne Simmonds

We're back! If you're looking for further proof that trade trees (especially big ones like this) never die, this is it. With their playoff hopes still at slim to none, the Flyers chose to part ways with the only remaining piece from the Richards trade, sending Wayne Simmonds to Nashville. In exchange, Philly gets a decent young winger in Hartman and a draft pick that becomes a 3rd if Nashville wins a round this year. Unlike every other trade, we don't have the advantage of hindsight to grade this. It seems even at the surface, but if Hartman flourishes or the Preds go deep it could easily skew things one way or the other.

*UPDATE* Trade 16:

DAL Acquires

RW Ryan Hartman

PHI Acquires

RW Tyler Pitlick

Another addition! The Flyers and Stars swapped bottom-sixers in this deal. Dallas got the younger and (probably) better player; the Flyers got the bigger and cheaper one. However, with the Stars now tendering a qualifying offer to Hartman, it's possible that this end of the trade tree dies here, assuming Pitlick leaves Philly next year as a UFA. But, as the rest of the these trees have taught us, who knows what's gonna happen next?

**UPDATE** Trade 17:

SJ Acquires

D Erik Karlsson

RW Francis Perron

OTT Acquires

C Chris Tierney

D Dylan DeMelo

LW Rudolfs Balcers

C Josh Norris

2020 SJ 1st

2021 SJ 2nd

2019 FLA 2nd

Turns out the Hoffman trade was the second biggest deal involving a former Senator and the Sharks. The second round pick the Sharks acquired from flipping Hoffman was one of the EIGHT assets used to acquire Erik Karlsson just before the 18-19 regular season. Karlsson was viewed as a game-breaking offensive-defensemen who gave the Sharks an elite backend (it was already pretty good beforehand).

At the time, this deal was viewed as a clear win for the Sharks, who didn't have to give up any of their best young players and only one first. But then the Sharks lost in the Western Conference Finals, Karlsson got hurt a bunch and signed a bloated extension, and the Sharks fell to the basement in 2020, with their first round pick belonging to Ottawa. Suddenly, Alexis Lafreniere or some other top prospect is likely to find their name in this three. Regardless of how it ages, this is one of the biggest blockbusters in recent memory.

**UPDATE** Trade 18:

FLA Acquires

2019 CHI 5th (#136 - C Henry Rybinski)

MTL Acquires

2020 FLA 5th

The 5th Montreal acquired for one of the picks in the Mike Hoffman to Florida deal was traded at least year's draft to Florida, because who else?

**UPDATE** Trade 19:

ARI Acquires

LW Taylor Hall

C Blake Speers

NJ Acquires:

2020 ARI 1st (#18 - RW Dawson Mercer)

2021 ARI Conditional 3rd

C Nick Merkley

C Nathan Schnarr

D Kevin Bahl

Over a year after I wrote this article, I came back looking to see if there were any more trades to add, and yeah, this is a big one. The Islanders traded a pick to the Flyers who traded it to the Coyotes who used to draft Schnarr, one of the three prospects sent to New Jersey for 2018 Hart winner Taylor Hall. Each of the top two picks in the 2010 NHL Draft (Hall and Seguin) have their names in this list.

Coronavirus and an extension may change how we look at this trade in a few years, but for now, it seems like a lose-lose. The Devils arguably got more for 3rd liner Blake Coleman than Hall, who has struggled with the Coyotes, who have fallen from 1st in the Pacific to likely missing the playoffs for the ninth straight season.

**UPDATE** Trade 20:

OTT Acquires

2019 NYR 2nd (#37 - G Mads Søgaard)

CAR Acquires 2019 FLA 2nd (#44 - C Jamieson Rees)

2019 PIT 3rd (#83 - D Antonni Honka)

The Sens decided to use the Florida second from the Karlsson trade to move up in last year's draft, packaging it with a 3rd to move up seven spots and select the Swedish goalie Søgaard. Time will tell which prospect(s) pan out best.

**UPDATE** Trade 21:

OTT Acquires

2020 WPG 3rd (#71 - G Leevi Meriläinen)

WPG Acquires

D Dylan DeMelo

With their blue-line depleted due to free agency and the Dustin Byfuglien saga, the Jets needed a blue-liner at this year's deadline. DeMelo was having a nice season in Ottawa and is a pending UFA, so the Jets ponied up a 3rd round pick to acquire him. A pretty standard deadline rental. DeMelo was off to a nice start in Winnipeg, but now it remains to be seen if he'll ever play another game for the Jets.

And with that move, that does it for the Richards trade tree. For now. Obviously, more moves could happen to extend the tree (one happened as recently as this Monday), but for now, this is as far as it goes. Still, involving names like Tyler Seguin, Jake Guentzel, Reilly Smith, Taylor Hall, and others in the ripples of one trade is pretty impressive. Now, on to Carter.

Trade 1:

CBJ Acquires

C Jeff Carter

PHI Acquires

RW Jakub Voracek

2011 CBJ 1st (#8 - C Sean Couturier)

2011 CBJ 3rd (#68 - C Nick Cousins)

Just to clarify, this is the start of an entirely new trade tree. In part 2 of their massive shakeup, the Flyers made out similarly, acquiring two core pieces and a mid-round pick in exchange for a franchise center. Voracek was a top-10 pick himself, and has been a staple of the Flyers offense since he arrived, posting 2 80-point seasons. Couturier took a bit longer to develop, but a 76-point breakout season saw him finally realize his potential. As for Cousins...

Trade 2:

PHI Acquires

LW Brendan Warren

2018 ARI 5th (#127 - D Wyatt Wylie)

ARI Acquires

C Nick Cousins

G Merrick Madsen

Cousins was a decent player in one and a half seasons in Philadelphia, but the Flyers had a log-jam at forward in the summer of 2017. As a result, Cousins was dealt along with an ok goalie prospect in Madsen for a 5th and a mediocre prospect in Warren, who likely won't receive an ELC from Philadelphia. It seems like we might be done. Just like the Richards trade, it only takes one asset to lead us down the rabbit hole.

Trade 3:

LAK Acquires

C Jeff Carter

CBJ Acquires

D Jack Johnson

2013 LAK 1st (#27 - C Marko Dano)

With the Kings looking to boost their team for a playoff run in 2012, they elected to reunite Richards with Carter, who was frusturated in Columbus. Neither Johnson nor Dano lived up to their hype, while Carter is still a fixture of the Kings' top-6 today.

Trade 4:

CBJ Acquires

LW Brandon Saad

C Alex Broadhurst

D Michael Paliotta

CHI Acquires

C Artem Anismov

C Marko Dano

LW Jeremy Morin

RW Corey Tropp

2016 CBJ 4th (#95)

The first Brandon Saad trade makes an appearance as well, as Dano was part of the package that sent to Columbus. This was a blockbuster, as the Blackhawks were just coming off their 3rd Stanley Cup in 6 years, the 2nd one Saad was a part of. Still, he was due for a raise, and the Blackhawks needed both cap space and help down the middle, and got both in Anismov. Although of course we know his career in Chicago (and spolier alert: his time on this trade tree) wasn't done. Give it some time though.

Trade 5:

CHI Acquires

LW Andrew Ladd (36% Retained - $1,584,000)

RW Matt Fraser

D Jay Harrison

WPG Acquires

C Marko Dano

2016 CHI 1st (#22)

The big story of this move isn't Ladd being moved for help at the deadline for a Blackhawks squad ready to defend their title in 2016, nor was it Dano being moved for the 2nd time since being drafted (3 times if you count the pick itself). No, for these purposes, it's Fraser's inclusion, as he becomes the only player to be in both Richards' and Carter's trade trees (which could change in the future, of course). Dano is still a Jet now, but only after Colorado claimed him off waivers, played him a few games, then put back on, where he was subsequently claimed by Winnipeg and sent to the AHL, now in serious danger of becoming a bust.

Trade 6:

WPG Acquires

2016 PHI 1st (#18 - D Logan Stanley)

2016 PHI 3rd (#75 - D Luke Green)

PHI Acquires

2016 CHI 1st (#22 - C German Rubtsov)

2016 WPG 2nd (#36 - C Pascal Laberge)

Speaking of draft busts, get a load of this pure pick trade at the draft floor in 2016. Winnipeg took a defensive defenseman in Stanley who was struggled, while Philly got a couple decent centers in Rubtsov and Laberge whose development has stagnated due to injuries (though Rubtsov was looking promise in his first pro season this year). There's still time for these prospects to prove they were worth their selection, but time is ticking.

Trade 7:

CHI Acquires

LW Richard Pánik

TOR Acquires

LW Jeremy Morin

The Blackhawks are usually known for sprikling magic pixey dust on all their mid-round picks and turning them into quality NHL talent, but in this case they did it with a 24-year old winger who could barely score on a barren Toronto squad. Panik earned a nice pay-day with a 44-point 2016-17 campaign, but has seen his production dip a little bit this year. Not for Chicago, of course.

Trade 8:

ARI Acquires

LW Richard Pánik

RW Laurent Dauphin

CHI Acquires

LW Anthony Duclair

D Adam Clendening

Pánik's overall points-per-game is pretty much dead even with his Chicago line, but is a little lower this year. Fortunately for Arizona, they didn't give up much - Duclair never found a home in Chicago despite his once high pedigree. Unfortuantely, Dauphin, a former 2nd round pick by Arizona, hasn't done much either. Those two pretty much cancel out, which makes this look like Pánik for Clendening. Yeah, I'd say the Coyotes made out pretty good on this one.

Trade 9:

TOR Acquires

2018 SJS 3rd (#83 - C Riley Stotts)

C Ben Smith

G Alex Stalock

SJS Acquires

G James Reimer

LW Jeremy Morin

As for Morin, he was a part of a deadline deal that saw San Jose acquire goaltending depth in Reimer for a low haul. Then again, this was shortly after the Sharks traded two 2nds for Roman Polak. All four players have left the teams they were sent too, so the legacy of this deal depends on the development of Stotts.

Trade 10:

CHI Acquires

2016 NYI 4th (#110 - D Lucas Carlsson)

2017 NYI 6th (#170)

NYI Acquires

2016 CBJ #95 (LW Anatoly Golyshev)

Eh, what's the big deal, another minor pick-for-pick swap on draft day, like it's gonna amount to anyth-ah, who am I kidding, you know the drill.

Trade 11:

CBJ Acquires

LW Artemi Panarin

2017 NYI 6th (#170 - RW Jonathan Davidsson)

RW Tyler Motte

CHI Acquires

LW Brandon Saad

G Anton Forsberg

CBJ 2018 5th (#142)

It's not a matter of if a minor trade will develop into a blockbuster at this point, it's when. Somehow both Saad swaps are included in this tree, although this one was more lobsided. With Columbus currently in a playoff spot, it seems unlikely that we'll see another monster addition to the tree courtsey of a move of pending UFA Panarin. Saad has been decent in Chicago, but the team has struggled and the value the Hawks got back doesn't make up for the difference between the two big names.

Trade 12:

VAN Acquires

RW Tyler Motte

LW Jussi Jokinen

CBJ Acquires

LW Thomas Vanek

Yet another former All Star finds its way into this tree in the form of Vanek. This was far from a blockbuster however, as the Blue Jackets were just looking for scoring depth prior to last year's playoffs. Vanek provided that, scoring 15 points in 19 games with the Jackets, but Columbus was still unable to get out of the first round.

Trade 13:

CHI Acquires

2018 CGY 3rd (#74 - RW Niklas Nordgren)

ARI Acquires

2018 TOR 3rd (#87)

2018 CBJ 5th (#142 - D Michael Callahan)

Trade 14:

SJS Acquires

2018 TOR 3rd (#87 - C Linus Karlsson)

ARI Acquires

2018 SJS 4th (#114 - G Ivan Prosvetov)

2018 SJS 5th (#145 - D Dennis Busby)

For the sake of time, we'll just group these final two trades into one, as they were both minor draft pick only trades. For now, they seem small, but who knows what the future will hold? With all the mid-round picks exchanged throughout the two trees, there's a good chance at least one more star gets smushed into the equation.

*UPDATE* Trade 15:

OTT Acquires

RW Jonathan Davidsson

LW Vitaly Abramov

2019 CBJ 1st (#19 - D Lassi Thomson)