Last night the Kings went into the Wells Fargo Center and walked out with two points after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 3-2. Although it was a road game for the Kings the venue was all too familiar for two of the Kings’ forwards.
Outside of the final score and playoff indications, that was the story line that received the most attention. It was the first time Mike Richards and Jeff Carter would be on the ice together in Philly, and not wearing Flyers orange.
Much like Richards’ first time back in Philadelphia in a Kings sweater, boos rained down on both him and Carter every time they touched the puck. Carter rubbed a little more salt in the wound for Flyers fans when he scored the Kings’ first goal of the game in the second period.
Most know how everything played out and how we got to this point in the drama, but here is the crash course in how Carter and Richards went from never-ending cheers to endless boos in Philly.
Before being shipped away from the Flyers, Richards to the Kings and Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the two were Philly’s dynamic duo. Richards was the team’s captain and Carter was their golden boy. They were best friends on and off the ice and were seen as the future of the organization.
Then Paul Holmgren decided to push the implode button and separate the best friends by dealing Richards and Carter away in two different trades.
The two wouldn’t stay separated for long as the Kings went on to save Carter from the Blue Jackets in a trade that sent defenseman Jack Johnson to Columbus.
Fast forward past the Kings’ Stanley Cup success and evolution into an NHL power house and we are here.
When traded, both Richards and Carter mentioned to several different media outlets that they were shocked that they would no longer be playing in Philadelphia. For all they knew they would be playing out a major portion of the remainder of their careers in Philly.
So the booing, at least some of it, last night should not have happened. I understand being bitter and upset that the players you lost went elsewhere and were successful. Any sports fans would be. But the two gave the Flyers good hockey and even carried them to a Stanley Cup final.
If Flyers fans want to be mad at something they should be mad at the fact that all of this went down in an effort to clear cap space to sign Ilya Bryzgalov.