The 5 best trades in Flyers history
Throughout the Flyers' 50-plus years, the organization hasn't been timid when it comes to pulling off the monstrous trade. From the acquisition of superstar Eric Lindros to smaller trade deadline deals, we explore the top five trades that have transformed the Flyers' roster and reshaped the franchise for years to come. (Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)
5. July 1, 2011: Flyers trade Kris Versteeg to Panthers
The full trade: Versteeg to Florida for a 2012 second-round pick, which was transferred to Tampa Bay, and a third-round pick that turned into Shayne Gostisbehere.
Five months earlier, then-GM Paul Holmgren surrendered a first and second-round pick to the Maple Leafs for Versteeg. The Flyers couldn’t receive equal compensation when Versteeg was sent packing to the Panthers. However, the Flyers hit a gold mine when they chose Gostisbehere with the 78th overall pick in the third round.
Versteeg has been a journeyman, playing for seven different teams in his 11-year career. His best season was in 2011-12, scoring 23 goals and 54 points. The Flyers landed a franchise blueliner in Gostisbehere, who became the fourth Flyers defenseman to record 60 points in a season and is a two-time Barry Ashbee award winner. (USA Today Images)
4. Feb. 9, 1995: Flyers acquire Eric Desjardins, John LeClair
The full trade: The Flyers receive LeClair, Desjardins and Gilbert Dionne from Montreal for Mark Recchi and a 1995 third-round pick.
Looking for an ideal linemate for superstar Eric Lindros, then-GM Bob Clarke found the right piece in LeClair, who ripped off three straight 50-goal seasons and five 40-goal seasons, scoring 333 goals and 643 points in 649 career games in Philadelphia. Without LeClair, the Legion of Doom would have never materialized.
The Flyers also acquired one of the franchise’s all-time best defensemen in Desjardins, who scored 93 goals and 396 points in 11 seasons. Both LeClair and Desjardins have been added to the Flyers' Hall of Fame.
Recchi put up three solid seasons in Montreal, scoring 70-plus points but returned to the Flyers in 1998 and spent the next five seasons in Philadelphia, topping the 20-goal mark each year. (AP Images)
3. Feb. 15, 2007: Flyers trade Peter Forsberg to Predators
The full trade: The Flyers trade Forsberg to the Predators for Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent, a 2007 first-round pick and third-round pick.
This trade rebuilt the Flyers for the next six years. Enduring a miserable 40th anniversary season, Paul Holmgren sent his best player, Forsberg, and his lingering foot issues to the Nashville Predators. While Upshall was a decent player that could play up and down the lineup, the key to this deal was the first-round pick the Flyers acquired. Just prior to free agency, they sent it back to Nashville for the rights to Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen.
Essentially, the Flyers received Hartnell, Timonen, Upshall, Parent and a third-rounder for Forsberg, who played just 28 NHL games and scored just three regular-season goals after the blockbuster deal. (AP Images)
2. June 23, 2011: Flyers trade Mike Richards to Kings
The full trade: The Flyers receive forwards Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn and a 2012 second-round pick from the Kings for Richards and Rob Bordson.
In what could ultimately evolve into the most lopsided deal in franchise history, the Richards trade is poised to set the Flyers up for a long time. Simmonds has been a rock of consistency, scoring 187 goals in his seven seasons in Philadelphia. Schenn provided back-to-back 25-goal seasons before Ron Hextall dealt him to St. Louis that returned a pair of first-round picks — Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee, who are now two of the organization's most promising prospects.
While winning a pair of Stanley Cups, Richards was more of a role player with the Kings, scoring just 46 goals in four seasons before L.A. reached a contract termination settlement. The Kings will be paying Richards until the end of the 2031-32 season for the 12-year contract he signed with the Flyers in 2007. (AP Images)
1. May 15, 1973: Flyers receive rights to Bernie Parent from Toronto
The full trade: The Flyers receive the rights to Parent and a 1973 second-round pick (Larry Goodenough) from the Maple Leafs for a 1973 first-round pick (Bob Neely) and future considerations (Doug Favell).
Parent returned to the Flyers a much different goaltender than the one they traded to the Maple Leafs in January 1971. Parent was much more polished and determined as he spent the next six seasons in Philadelphia. He was a three-time All-Star and two-time Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy winner with the Flyers. They don't win back-to-back Stanley Cups without re-acquiring Parent in 1973, and they don't become the first expansion team to win the Cup without their Hall-of-Fame goalie.
A former first-round pick, Neely was a tough-nosed defenseman who played just five seasons in Toronto and was out of the league by the age of 24. Favell couldn't post similar goaltending numbers in Toronto, playing for an inferior Leafs team. (AP Images)