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Philly remakes itself with gigantic deals

PHILADELPHIA — Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, keys to the Flyers' run to the Stanley Cup final a year ago and considered cornerstones of the franchise's future, were traded Thursday. That cleared enough salary-cap space to sign goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to a deal Canada's TSN TV network reported is worth $51 million over nine years.

Richards, 26, a center who signed a 12-year, $69 million contract in 2007, went to the Kings for center Brayden Schenn, wing Wayne Simmonds and a second-round draft pick this year. He has scored 133 goals over his six seasons, including 23 last season.

Carter, 26, a forward who signed an 11-year, $58 million deal in November, went to the Blue Jackets for wing Jake Voracek, tonight's No. 8 overall pick and a 2011 third-round pick. He has 181 goals over his six seasons, including a team-high 36 last season.

GM Paul Holmgren said there was no talk about trading either player until Bryzgalov became available. "Those are two hard phone calls to make," he said, his voice quivering.

The Flyers used three goalies — Sergei Bobrovsky, Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton — in 11 playoff games last season, which ended with a second-round sweep by the Bruins.

Enter Bryzgalov, 31, a Vezina Trophy (top goalie) finalist in 2009-10 for Phoenix. In 2010-11 for Phoenix, he was 36-20-10 with a 2.48 goals-against average and seven shutouts. Philadelphia traded for the rights to Bryzgalov, who could have been an unrestricted free agent July 1, last week.

"When you get a goalie you view as an upper-echelon goalie," Holmgren said, "you know you have to pay him."

Re-signings: San Jose wing Devin Setoguchi got a three-year, $9 million deal. He scored 22 goals last season. … Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov got a three-year, $17.25 million deal. Knee injuries limited him to seven games last season.

No brad Richards trade: Stars center Brad Richards declined to waive his no-trade clause. Dallas hoped to trade his rights before he became an unrestricted free agent July 1.

Winter Classic: The Flyers and Rangers will meet Jan. 2 at the Phillies' Citizens Bank Park in the annual outdoor game.

Salary cap: It was officially set at $64.3 million for next season, up from $59.4 million. The cap has increased each season since its debut in 2005-06.

Philly remakes itself with gigantic deals 06/23/11 [Last modified: Thursday, June 23, 2011 11:06pm]
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