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The #8 seed Los Angeles Kings and #5 seed Philadelphia Flyers are both succeeding in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. A time in the season when both franchises have had trials and tribulations.
“We felt at this stage of the franchise it was time to make a significant move for an impact player,” Los Angeles Kings General Manager, Dean Lombardi said.
On June 23, 2011, the two teams made that trade. The Flyers traded their 26-year-old captain, Mike Richards, to the Kings for top prospect, Brayden Schenn, and left-wing Wayne Simmonds. A trade was necessary for the Flyers, as they pursued perhaps their franchise’s most cursed position, a goaltender.
Hours after the deal with LA, Philly signed Ilya Bryzgalov to a nine-year, $51M contract. This deal was only possible due to the substantial amount of salary cap space opened up from the Richards trade.
Now, nearly one year later, the trade is paying off for both teams at the right time, the playoffs. In the Conference Quarterfinals, the Kings were matched up against the Presidents’-Trophy-champion Vancouver Canucks. Los Angeles made relatively quick work of the Canucks, ousting them in just 5 games.
Meanwhile, the Flyers were paired up with their interstate rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins. In one of the most wide open series’ in NHL history, the Flyers eliminated the Pens in 6 games. No thanks to Bryzgalov, who allowed 21 goals in the series.
When comparing the players involved in that June 23rd deal through 7 playoff games, Schenn has 2 goals and 4 assists, Simmonds has 1 goal and 3 assists, and Richards has 2 goals and 4 assists. All three players have contributed to their team’s postseason success.
For complete coverage of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, visit: http://www.nhl.com/ice/stanleycup.htm
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