Winging It: Can the Philadelphia Flyers find Mike Richards a linemate?

February 8th, 2011 by Mike Pascale Leave a reply »
Once upon a time, Mike Richards was the Philadelphia Flyers' undisputed No. 1 center. He was the captain, a point per game player and had two proven veterans in Mike Knuble and Simon Gagne on his line.

Life was good.

Fast forward three years.

Knuble and Gagne were not re-signed and traded, respectively, and have been replaced on the team by the likes of Claude Giroux, Ville Leino and James van Riemsdyk, who are younger, more affordable forwards.

Knuble scored 56 goals in his last two seasons with the Flyers and Gagne tallied 58 goals, playing the equivalent of two seasons worth of games, during his last three years with the team.

But the younger Flyers, Giroux and Leino in particular, have produced enough to make the loss of them easier to swallow.

Despite the Flyers offensive success, some fans still believe it was mistake to let go of Knuble and Gagne. But one thing that can’t be debated is that the team hasn’t been able to find Richards a consistent, productive linemate to replace them. That is particularly surprising, given the array of talent and different styles that GM Paul Holmgren has assem ...

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