The 5 worst trades in Flyers history
Last week, we explored the five best trades in Flyers history in which the organization came out as clear winners (see gallery).
This week, we explore the five most lopsided trades that saw the Flyers on the wrong side of history, with a look at the negative consequences of each deal. (AP Images)
5. June 23, 2014: Flyers trade Scott Hartnell to Blue Jackets
The full trade: Hartnell to Columbus for R.J. Umberger and the Blue Jackets' 2015 fourth-round pick, which was later dealt to the Kings.
After taking over for Paul Holmgren, general manager Ron Hextall was looking to gain some cap relief. While Hextall was able to shed a few years off of Hartnell’s contract (which Columbus eventually bought out), the Flyers weren't able to gain any short-term relief.
A popular player within the Flyers' team and the Philadelphia community, Hartnell continued to post big numbers with 64 goals and 146 points in three seasons in Columbus, while Umberger could never get going during his second stint in Philadelphia, dealing with lingering injuries from his days with the Blue Jackets.
In his final two seasons in the NHL, Umberger managed just 11 goals and 26 points before the Flyers bought out the remaining year on his contract. (USA Today Images)
4. June 23, 2012: Flyers trade James van Riemsdyk to Maple Leafs
The full trade: van Riemsdyk to the Maple Leafs for defenseman Luke Schenn, who joined his brother Brayden Schenn in Philadelphia.
This was a lopsided deal from the moment the trade was completed as the Flyers parted ways with their No. 2 overall pick after just three seasons.
van Riemsdyk fell out of favor with then-coach Peter Laviolette as Paul Holmgren attempted to bolster the team's blue line with the big, physical, stay-at-home defenseman Schenn, who proved to be a consistent penalty-killer but contributed very little offensively and was traded to the Kings after four seasons.
Meanwhile, JVR found his stride in Toronto, topping the 25-goal mark four times, including a career-high 36 in 2017-18.
Perhaps the reacquisition of van Riemsdyk can hide some of the scars from that 2012 trade. (AP Images)
3. Jan. 20, 2004: Flyers trade Justin Williams to Hurricanes
The full trade: Williams to the Hurricanes for defenseman Danny Markov.
The Flyers completely misfired on this one.
Selected 28th overall in 2000, Williams displayed potential at an early age, scoring 12 goals and 25 points as a 19-year-old. However, Williams also struggled playing under different systems with three different head coaches in his first four years, while also dealing with myriad injuries.
Once Williams got his career on track, it was too late for the Flyers, who traded him to Carolina for the tough guy Markov, whose career in Philadelphia lasted just one season.
With a new salary cap in place following the subsequent lockout the year before, the Flyers had to shed salary and shipped Markov to Nashville. Williams has proceeded to reach the 20-goal mark six times in his career, earned the label “Mr. Game 7” for his performance in the clutch and has won three Stanley Cup championships. (AP Images)
2. Dec. 5, 2005: Flyers trade Patrick Sharp to Blackhawks
The full trade: Sharp and Eric Meloche to the Blackhawks for Matt Ellison and a 2006 third-round pick, which was later dealt to the Canadiens.
Selected in the third round of the 2001 NHL draft, Sharp was quite the late bloomer and didn't develop into a top-tier forward until the age of 26.
Two years earlier, then-general manager Bob Clarke certainly didn't anticipate that Sharp was a bona-fide NHL forward and swapped him for Ellison, who clearly was not cut out for NHL hockey following a brief career in Philadelphia that lasted just seven games.
In 11 seasons with the Blackhawks, Sharp amassed 249 goals and 532 points, while winning three Stanley Cup championships, making this one of the most one-sided trades in franchise history. (AP Images)
1. June 22, 2012: Flyers trade Sergei Bobrovsky to Blue Jackets
The full trade: Bobrovsky to the Blue Jackets for 2012 second-round and fourth-round picks and a 2013 fourth-round pick, which was later dealt to the Kings.
Two of the franchise's all-time worst trades happened to come on back-to-back days in the summer of 2012.
One year into the Ilya Bryzaster of a nine-year, $51 million long-term commitment, the Flyers traded a disgruntled Bobrovsky, who turned in a decent rookie season the year prior to Bryzgalov’s arrival, as "Bob" led the Flyers with 28 wins at the age of 22.
For a franchise plagued by goaltending issues over the past 20-plus years, Bobrovsky’s ascension to one of the league’s greats goes down as one of the franchise’s all-time blunders. The Blue Jackets' No. 1 goalie has won a pair of Vezina trophies as the league’s top netminder and has burned his former team since the trade, with a 10-3-1 record against the Flyers.
If there’s any redeeming value to the deal, the draft picks the Flyers received in return (Anthony Stolarz and Taylor Leier) are still in the organization. (AP Images)