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Daily Times beat writer Anthony J. SanFilippo takes you inside the locker rooms of the Philadelphia Flyers and the rest of the NHL.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Spoke with some people in Tampa about this weird trade.

(And I say it's weird because the Flyers traded a first round pick for Steve Eminger and then gave up on him after 12 games and Tampa traded Dan Boyle for Matt Carle and then gave up on him after 12 games).

Thing is, they feel the same way about Carle as the Flyers did about Eminger. They thought he was a mistake acquisition.

But here's the difference, from what I'm told - the Flyers have a much more sound management situation than the Lightning, and Holmgren fleeced the Lightning on this deal.

Carle was originally acquired from San Jose by Tampa during the period of time after former GM Jay Feaster's ouster and the hiring of new GM Brian Lawton.

In other words, Lightning owners Len Barrie and Oren Koules were making the moves before Lawton, and this trade was Lawton's way of saying, I'm in charge now.

Think about it. Koules is a Hollywood Producer. Barrie, although he played hockey briefly, including with the Flyers, made his money as a real estate developer.

What either know about hockey personnel is beyond me.

Then again, Lawton, who is good with the dollars having been a player agent for several years, took advantage of getting rid of Carle as a salary dump, as he saved the team $1.7 million.

Does that equate to a good trade for the Lightning? Hardly.

The Lightning believed they shouldn't be paying Carle what he was being paid ($3.47million) if he wasn't playing big minutes or playing on the power play.

The Flyers have every intention of using him to do just that.

So why couldn't he do it in Tampa? The only answer could be the coach - and Barry Melrose is no great hockey mind. There's a reason he was a talking head on television for a decade and not coaching hockey.

The Lightning will learn that this trade was a huge mistake.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The deal no matter how you look at it is a bad deal for the Flyers. Drop the kool-aid and wise up. The Flyers in June could've drafted their goaltender of the future from Sweden. Instead they trade a first round pick for Eminger. Eminger could not dress regularly for a team (Caps)) that need's solid d men. In fact the kid was as much a career Hershey Bear and that is why he was a BUST. Carle is a solid young player making way too much money and this deal will not be a steal in the long run. Here is why Tampa wins the deal: They did not lose the chance to draft their goalie of the future (they have Smith and Ramo), but gain a player in Stove Downie. The question is, can Melrose and the Tampa organization get Downie to play hockey like man, not the coward Flyer hockey way? Downie is a player, but a moran who is a punk on the ice. He reminds you on and off the ice of Sean Avery, but Downie is a much better player. Here is the key: Downie leaves a franchise that prides itself on playing the same ignorant way Downie does. Holmgrem tells him to calm down, Clarke backs up his type player. After many on and off ice blow ups he is out. It's hard for a player to "come around" attitude wise when they market the likes of Riley Cote and countless other non-talented goons. Downie is a moran, but if Tampa can get him to "calm down" and play with his skill first, then Tampa wins the deal without question.

Now the Flyers want to add S-L-O-W-Shanny? If the man could still skate you think he would be an UFA?

In a sense let's look at the travel of this situation since June. Flyers trade Umberger to CBJ for a first round pick, then ship that pick to the Caps when they could've drafted their goaltender of the future. (Remember the Flyers have no serious talent, even average talent goalie in the system from Europe to the OHL, from the ECHL to the AHL. IT IS BARREN!)..for that first rounder T they get back Steve Eminger (see above). Now they trade a another talented winger, perfect pest with skill IF molded correctly and along with the joke named Eminger for Matt Carle.

Umberger, firt round pick, franchise goalie from Sweden, Eminger, Downie and a fourth round pick for MATT CARLE and a third round pick. THAT IS A JOKE!

Keep pouring the kool-aid ANT-NEY!.

The Northern Red and Black Attack!

November 13, 2008 at 11:15 PM 
Anonymous itsme said...

Why don't we check in to see how this trade is playing out thus far, now that about 30 games have passed.

Hmmm. It seems that the so-called "bust", Eminger, is proving himself to be a top-four D man in Tampa, playing well for them in big minutes and in all situations. He's put up a respectable 3G 12A for 15 pts in 28 games with the Bolts. That projects to over 40 points in a full season's worth of games. Not bad. He's also a +2, which, on a team as bad as Tampa, says something. At $1 million, he's providing excellent value for them.

As far as Downie, the 21 yr old is doing exactly what he should have been doing in Philly, further developing his game in the AHL. He's doing very well with the Admirals, producing among the top ten in the league in terms of points per game, while garnering big PIMs due to his menacing and agitating play. Downie is the dark horse in this deal. This is a former 1st round pick dominating the AHL at 21 and could very well end up making a real impact in the NHL.

This leaves Carle. Many Flyer fans were high on Carle early on, in no small part due to numerous talking heads (ahem, SanFilippo) reporting how the Flyers fleeced Tampa in the deal to get him. Carle was given an opportunity to play a top four role as soon as he landed in Philly, (Eminger never got that chance while he was there). Carle looked good early on for the most part, leading rushes and moving and carrying the puck well. He also showed a good defensive game, often using his positioning and deft stick-checks to break up opposing plays; indeed it seemed he was a better fit for the Flyers than Eminger. Of course, it didn't hurt that the Flyers were already in the midst of turning their season around with guys like Timonen, Richards, Carter and Hartnell elevating their games when Carle arrived. Carle caught the wave and looked good with the team as they surged. As Carle played more games though, some of his flaws came to the surface. He made numerous mistakes in his own zone, some leading to goals against. He made some risky plays offensively that didn't seem to pay off enough to make it worth it. He's been caught flat footed at times, unable to stay with or body up on opposing rushers as they drive the net. Though he's had top four minutes and powerplay time, he's been kind of underwhelming as far as offensive production, putting up 9 points in 23 games (about 25% less than Eminger's production on an offensively horrible Tampa team). He's also had some injuries which is something to keep an eye on.

Carle is a good young player and will likely correct some of those issues and improve, but some fans are starting to wonder, justifiably, if he's worth his considerable $3.4 million salary.

So now let's assess the deal, not based on what talking heads and pundits concluded before any of the players involved even stepped on the ice for their new teams, but based on what counts, the performance of the players involved since the trade.

Given that Eminger is proving to be a capable top-four NHL D man in Tampa, given that he's outproducing Carle by a significant margin in that role, at less than a third of the cap hit, and given how Downie is excelling with Tampa's AHL affiliate, I can't see how this deal can be considered lopsided or a fleecing of the Bolts by the Flyers. Actually, one could, at this point, make a fairly good case that it's Tampa, who got the better of the deal.

Lawton said they got Eminger because they thought he could do many of the same things that Carle could do (at a cheaper price). It looks like he was right. IN that context, he basically got Downie for free. And who robbed who?

It's early yet, but an objective look at how the players have performed since the trade and the value they are providing for their respective teams indicates this deal was much closer to being a fair and good deal for both teams than it was a lopsided steal for the Flyers like many prematurely concluded. We'll have to see how things play out for the rest of the season and beyond to make and final conclusions.

January 9, 2009 at 9:58 PM 

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