Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dubious Deadline

When I got word that the Flyers traded Scottie Upshall for Daniel Carcillo, I tried not to get too worked up, especially with the caveat that the Flyers received an extension on the 3 p.m. deadline because they were working out another deal.

When word broke that the major move was getting Kyle McLaren, I simply became furious. Let me get this straight: The Flyers just traded a 25-year-old dynamo, a player who works his tail off, plays hard every shift, agitates opponents, can skate, score, hit, do pretty much anything you ask—and the guy, who, oh by the way, scored the first goal to turn the tides last night against Boston in the come-from-behind win—for an enforcer who is a minus 13, not very fast and takes a ton of penalties, and so they could acquire a 31-year-old defenseman who has played in the minors all season?

What the fuck, Holmgren? This is complete and utter bullshit. Scottie Upshall is exactly the type of player a team needs to win a Cup. Yes, he isn't the best player on the team or anything close. But he's a guy who, each and every shift, creates energy and opportunities. The potential he could have had on a line with Danny Briere and Claude Giroux is just staggering to think about. And now he's gone. For nothing. Sure, the Flyers had talent they could afford to shed to get, say, a Jay Bouwmeester or Chris Pronger, and had they gotten one of those two players and had to relinquish Upshall in the process, that at least makes sense. This makes none. At all.

In all honesty, I think I'll really like Carcillo. He's a young, tough player who can literally throw down with anyone in the NHL. He can, you know, actually win fights, unlike Riley Cote.

Hell, the guy has even shown some flashes of being able to score, but he also leads the league with 174 penalty minutes … and taking a lot of penalties has been the Flyers' biggest problem all season. (Yes, even moreso that goaltending.) That doesn't bode too well.

And McLaren, well, that just doesn't make any damn sense. Yes, he's big and can hit, but uh, he's not good. Like, at all. Since the turn of the millennium, his best +/- season was plus 10. He can't score. He can't skate. And this year, he couldn't even crack the NHL.

What I'm trying to say is, he fucking blows. These moves just make absolutely no sense. At all. You can talk about depth at defenseman all you want, but Lasse Kukkonen is still around, and I'd rather take my chances with a young call-up than to trade away Upshall. I mean, I just don't get it. I really don't.

I really hope this works out for the Flyers. Something tells me these moves were a step in the wrong direction. Replacing a very talented, hard-working guy like Upshall with a bruiser and a scrub when you're trying to make a run at the Cup seems like conflicting interests to me. This much I do know: This sucks more for Scottie Upshall than anyone else involved. The poor guy, who has done nothing but bust his ass since becoming a Philadelphia Flyer, was rewarded for his hard work and dedication by being traded from a team with Stanley Cup aspirations to the Phoenix Coyotes, a team with the second to worst record in the Western Conference. He's gone from a beloved player in a city that loves its hockey to just another player in a city that has no business even having a hockey team.

You will be missed, Scottie. This sucks.

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. Did you see his interview on Sportsnite? He got pretty upset and said Philly had the best fans in the NHL while getting choked up. Looked geniune the whole time. He was then asked if he had anything he'd like to say to the fans/city he just managed, "Its tough." and walked away. I want Upshall back now. Like where's the undo button?! I hope he knows we all wish him nothing but the best for being shipped away from here to Phoenix in such a crappy way. Do you think he'll ever be a Flyer again? Kid was fiery. I loved it.

  2. I say sign him next year, if the Flyers have any sort of cap room.